They are known for their football rivalry. The "Holy War" between St. Edward and St. Ignatius is one of the fiercest in the country. It's neighborhood bragging rights between players that may have played together in grade school and middle school. The game always means something, and the games are usually close and well played.
Same can be said when the two teams hook up in basketball
This Saturday, St. Ignatius, the state's third ranked team, travels to St. Edward to take on the Eagles, the state's top ranked team. It's a battle of two teams that almost completely mirror each other. They are big, quick, and deep. There will be a number of Division I college prospects on the court Saturday night.
Scouting St. Ignatius.... The Wildcats take a 9-1 record into the game. Their only loss was to Detroit Jesuit, and nationally ranked team. They have two outstanding wins, beating Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 74-64, and Cleveland Central Catholic 59-52. St. Ignatius comes at you in waves, playing up to 10 players that receive quality minutes. Coach Sean O'Toole knows the challenge that the Eagles present:
They are great at attacking the rim. Both their bigs and their guards find a way to get to the rim and get quality shots. We have to be very sound with our on-ball defense, along with our help-side defense
The Wildcats will need great games from the Black twins, 6'6" Eric and 6'6" David. St. Ignatius can also throw out additional size with 6'7" Jake Strippy and 6'6" Jaylin McDonald. Their backcourt, who will be in charge of slowing down the size and quickness of the Eagles guards, are led by 6'3" captain Isiah Barbra, 6'4" super sophomore Deven Stover, and the leader and trigger man for the offense, 6'1" Danny Bova.
Scouting St. Edward.... The Eagles also take a 9-1 record into the game. They recently returned from the MaxPreps Tournament in Palm Springs, California after facing four nationally ranked teams. The Eagles went 3-1 on the trip, with their only loss being a close 66-58 game to Westchester High School of Los Angeles, currently ranked tenth in the country. The Eagles are a balanced team, both offensively and defensively, and coach Eric Flannery knows it's that balance that will be needed to beat St. Ignatius:
They are really good defensively, and match up with our size really well. We can't be content on throwing up jump shots against them if they try and take away our inside game. Sean does a great job over there, and we know they will be well prepared and ready to play
The Eagles are led by the dynamic duo of 6'6" Kipper Nichols and 6'4" Marsalis Hamilton. They both are match up nightmares as they can both shoot from the outside, and be strong in the post. Point guard Malcolm Walters can get to the rim with his athleticism, using his 6'2" frame to overpower opposing point guards. Their sharpshooter from the outside is 6'4" Tony Vuyancih. Controlling the glass for the Eagles with be 6'6" junior Mike Ryan, and 6'9" Derek Funderburk, one of the top sophomores in the state.
So, who wins?.... It should be a great game. Expect St. Ignatius to use their depth to try and wear down the Eagles big men. The Wildcats may even throw in some zone on defense to try and get the Eagles to rush shots from the outside. St. Edward will want to be patient on the offensive end, where their talent will take over. They will also need to rebound, so they can get out and run.
St. Edward wins a close one this Saturday at home....but you know what is great? These teams will play again in February at Sullivan Gym at St. Ignatius
The "Holy War" isn't just about football.