Notre Dame boys basketball’s defense comes up big against Campbell Hall

Notre Dame boys basketball’s defense comes up big against Campbell Hall

SHERMAN OAKS — The Notre Dame boys basketball team has a propensity to score. The Knights came into Wednesday night’s matchup against Campbell Hall averaging 79.6 points through five games this season.

But it was the team’s defense that Notre Dame head coach Matt Sargeant highlighted after his team’s 81-60 victory over Campbell Hall.

Using a swarming perimeter defense that forced Campbell Hall into contested shots seemingly every time down the court, the Knights were able to hold the Vikings to 13 points below their season average of 73 points per game.

“We have really good athletes at every position and we have guys that have bought into guarding every position. For us, that’s what makes us special,” Sargeant said. “We can really guard all over the court. It’s easy to win basketball games when you’re defending like that.”

With the likes of Mercy Miller, Lino Mark and Zachary White guarding the perimeter, Bronson Schmidt-Uili, Notre Dame’s 6-foot-9 center who transferred from Oak Hill Academy (Va.) before the season, was able to anchor the middle.

Schmidt-Uili clogged the paint, limiting Campbell Hall from crashing the offensive glass. He finished with 10 rebounds and two blocks, also dishing out three assists.

While the defense was doing its part, the offense kicked into high gear right off the jump. The Knights took an early 8-0 lead and expanded that advantage to 19-10 after the first quarter.

The trio of Miller, Mark and White pushed the tempo, using their speed off defensive rebounds to get up the court and find open looks.

Miller finished with a near triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, including two 3-pointers. Mark had 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. White added 14 points, two rebounds and two assists.

The Knights built a 23-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, allowing the opportunity for the reserves to see the court.

Going up against a formidable Campbell Hall team, the Knights leaned on their scout team in practice. Sargeant said the scout team actually beat the starters in practice.

Mark echoed his coach’s sentiment, and was pleased to see all of his teammates get into the game.

“We had to follow our scout and play our own game. We had to execute,” Mark said. “We all work hard, scout team, shoutout to them. It’s a chance to get them out here and to see them play, it’s exciting. That’s what it’s all about.”

Aaron Powell led the Vikings with 17 points and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Isaiah Johnson added 16 points and Aliaun Iscandari had 12 points before fouling out in the third quarter for Campbell Hall.

Up next for Notre Dame is a home game against Oakwood on Monday. Campbell Hall will travel to Maryland to face DeMatha (4-0) on Saturday.

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