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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Carroll's David Ejah dunks the ball as Northrop's TaQuay White looks on during the third quarter at Northrop on Friday.

Friday, February 08, 2019 11:00 pm

Carroll takes down Northrop

ELIZABETH WYMAN | The Journal Gazette

Carroll wasn't going to give up its SAC regular-season title that easy.

Heading into enemy territory where a loss would give Northrop (11-5, 6-1 SAC) the outright title, the Chargers (12-4, 6-1) were hungry for an opportunity to face the first-place Bruins.

And they didn't take it lightly. In fact, they made a statement.

Dan McKeeman scored 25 points and David Ejah's monstrous 16 points and 18 rebounds led to a 63-50 win over Northrop on Friday night.

"This is what you play for, this is what you grow up looking at," McKeeman said. "Their student section was amazing and ours was amazing. The gym was rocking."

After Northrop's Sydney Curry opened the game with an easy shot in the paint it looked as though one of the area's top scorers and rebounders was headed for a monster night.

Curry met his match though with the Chargers pair of Preston Shearer and Ejah, who held him to 11 points and 15 rebounds.

"You put length behind Preston, who's very feisty and strong, and then when you get David there who's athletic and can block some shots, it worked out for us tonight," Carroll coach Marty Beasley said.

McKeeman heated up 90 seconds into the second quarter, drilling a 3-pointer to get the Chargers offense rolling.

The senior sharp-shooter reeled in a tough offensive board and finished the put back on the next Carroll possession. Carroll used a 10-0 run in the second quarter to go up 17-9 with 3:03 to play in the first half.

"It felt great to get some shots to go down, but my teammates were finding me in great spots and setting great screens for me," McKeeman said.

Carroll's 19-15 halftime lead quickly grew.

Ejah snagged a tough offensive rebound and took it the length of the floor to finish with contact. McKeeman, who had 14 of his 25 in the third quarter, followed it up with a 3-pointer to make it 24-15.

Ejah and Curry, two of the areas best big men, battled all night.

In a wild sequence with the Bruin student section chirping at Ejah, the Carroll senior had two monster blocks on back-to-back possessions and a two-handed slam to top it off and put the Chargers up 32-23 with 3:07 left in the third quarter.

"We enjoyed it and embraced that underdog mentality," Ejah said. "I appreciate them (student section) for coming out there and saying all that stuff."

The Bruins didn't go away. Curry bullied his way to the rim and finished with contact. He missed the free throw, but Qualen Pettus was there for the put-back to pull within five with 90 seconds left.

They got no closer and the Chargers have now won 12 of their last 13.

"This is huge momentum builder to come out here on the road and get this win," McKeeman said. "We're battle tested and this is a great notch on our belt, but we just gotta be able to take it to the next game."

ewyman@jg.net