McGill-Toolen 58, Murphy 40: Manny Patrick, Yellow Jackets claim 3rd straight South Regional title
Posted March 19, 2018
Phillip Murphy doesn’t believe his McGill-Toolen basketball team has peaked yet.
The Yellow Jackets will get a chance to do just that next week in Birmingham.
Matthew McNeece led three McGill players in double figures with 17 points on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets rolled past rival Murphy 58-40 to advance to the Class 7A state semifinals for the third straight season.
“We haven’t played our best yet,” Murphy said. “We are getting close, but we aren’t there yet and that is exciting. We have more than a week now to fine tune things and try to get to the top of the mountain again.”
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The Yellow Jackets won the first state title in school history two years ago. They will play Northwest Region champ Sparkman at 10:30 a.m. on March 1 at Legacy Arena.
“This is pretty special,” Murphy said. “I believe we are the only Class 7A team to make it to Birmingham for the last three years. That’s not easy. Our guys expect to be at this point, but the truth is there have been long stretches in our school’s history that we haven’t been as successful. This is a special time.”
McGill (24-6) took command with a 17-7 burst in the second quarter. The Yellow Jackets led 28-15 at the half and 39-23 entering the fourth quarter. Their largest lead was 23 late in the fourth quarter.
The difference early was McGill’s 3-point shooting. Junior Jack Flynn hit three of his four 3-pointers in the first half and Manny Patrick also added a pair. For the game, McGill was 6-of-13 from long range (46 percent).
“We just tried to do what the coach told us to do,” said Flynn, who finished with 14 points. “We played loose and weren’t scared to shoot the ball when we had the chance.”
Patrick, the team’s point guard, also finished with 14 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
“They were packing it in and trying to make it shoot it from the outside so we did,” said Patrick, the tournament MVP. “We have to hit those shots if they are going to stay in a zone.”