Class 7A South Roundup: McGill-Toolen boys, girls reach regional final again
Posted March 19, 2018
There has yet to be a Class 7A boys South Regional final that hasn’t included McGill-Toolen Catholic.
That will be the case again in 2018.
The Yellow Jackets outrebounded Theodore37-18 overall and pulled away from the rival Bobcats to win 58-36 in the regional semifinals at the Dothan Civic Center on Thursday. They will play Murphy on Tuesday morning for the right to go to Birmingham. McGill is 3-0 against the Panthers this year, including a win last week in the area championship game.
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“We feel like we are still climbing that mountain,” McGill head coach Phillip Murphy said. “We haven’t peaked yet, and that’s good. It’s kind of what we’ve been able to do the last few years. We knew we have a big challenge ahead. We just have to keep climbing and keep the momentum going.”
The Yellow Jackets (23-6) will be playing in their fourth straight regional title game and sixth in the last seven years. They’ve won each of the last two to advance to Birmingham. They were Class 7A state champions two years ago.
On Thursday, McGill dispatched rival Theodore (10-19) for the third time this year. After a close first quarter, the Jackets gradually pulled away by outscoring the Bobcats 14-7 in the second quarter and 15-5 in the third.
“It was pretty much what we expected,” Murphy said. “We knew they were really good defensively and were going to try and take the air out of the ball and slow us down. They did that in the first half. We were able to speed them up a little in the second and third quarters. We guarded them and got stops. Eventually, they had to extend their pressure and we did a good job throwing out of it and getting some easy buckets.”
Senior point guard Manny Patrick scored 19 points and pulled down six rebounds to lead McGill, which has now won 12 of its last 13 games. Eric Toth had 10 points and eight rebounds and Matthew McNeece had nine points and seven rebounds.
“Manny played great all the way around,” Murphy said. “He had very few turnovers. He set the pace on offense and shot the ball well on defense. We hit three 3s the entire game, and he had all of them.”
Ky’Odrick Pogue-Thompson led Theodore with nine points. The Bobcats, who upset Alma Bryant in the area semifinals, shot just 31 percent from the field (10 of 32) and 44 percent from the free throw line (12 of 27).
The regional final is set for 10:45 a.m. Tuesday in Dothan.