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Notre Dame Sits Alone Atop Mission League

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

It’s lonely at the top.

And that’s just the way they like it at Notre Dame High.

After a 72-57 road victory over Bishop Montgomery on Wednesday night, alone at the top of the Mission League is where Notre Dame finds itself.

Bishop Montgomery and Notre Dame came into the game as the only undefeated teams in the league. They also were ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in Division III of the Southern Section.

“We played great,” said Notre Dame swingman Monte Marcaccini, who had a triple double, scoring 22, grabbing 16 rebounds and handing out 10 assists. “I can’t believe we stole one like this.”

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Notre Dame (14-3, 5-0 in league play) has won 10 in a row. During the streak, the most points the Knights have allowed is 61.

The defense was a key against Bishop Montgomery (12-2, 4-1). Notre Dame center Tom Stillwell held Andre English, Bishop Montgomery’s leading scorer, to 21.

Notre Dame point guard Craig Johnson chipped in with 18 points, equaling his season high, and several steals. Forward Glen Carson scored 12 points, including five of six free throws to seal the win in the fourth quarter.

“I think we’ve all been stepping up our play,” said Marcaccini, who has signed to play for Indiana. “And I don’t even think we are playing our best basketball yet.”

The Knights came close against Bishop Montgomery.

Notre Dame, ranked third in the area by The Times, jumped to a 19-9 lead in the first quarter, with Johnson scoring 12 of the points.

Notre Dame never trailed, although Bishop Montgomery cut the margin to two twice in the second quarter.

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In the third quarter, a quarter Marcaccini spent much of on the bench with three fouls, Notre Dame extended the lead to double figures. Notre Dame made 12 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter to ensure the victory.

Knight Coach Mick Cady said the win sets up Notre Dame well to win the league.

“We’ve got Bishop Montgomery and Loyola back to back on the road, which means they’ve got to come to our place the second time through the schedule,” he said. “We’re also playing six games in two weeks. It’d be nice to come out of that on top.”

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