NEW ROCHELLE – With one of his best players wide open on the far side of the court, Vic Quirolo screamed at his star, “Skip it! Skip it.” Instead, Ty Jerome pulled up for a step-back 3-pointer from well behind the line. When the shot swished, Quirolo offered no complaints.
“I’m speechless,” he said. “Sometimes I sit there and I’m watching like a fan.”
Jerome and his team continued their torrid early-season play Wednesday, routing Kennedy, the CHSAA’s reigning ’A’ champ, 75-49.
The Virginia-bound senior poured in 23 of his 28 points in the first half. He hit seven 3s and the team sank 11 as Iona Prep rolled to a 48-28 halftime lead.
“Once I get into a rhythm, every time I shoot it, I think it’s a good shot,” said Jerome, who finished 8 for 12 from downtown. “If coach thinks it’s a bad shot or I miss, I’ll live with it.”
The Gaels (4-0) missed few shots, if any, in the early going. They ended up 13 for 21 from 3-point land, including 2 for 2 from seniors Patrick Fleming and Jon Brennan.
Fleming is now 5 for 5 this season after shooting 0 for 14 from deep his first two seasons on varsity. It has been a nearly perfect start for Iona Prep, which has wins over Class AA state Federation finalists Christ the King and Wings despite playing without Bryce Wills, the area’s most highly coveted sophomore. He could return from a stress fracture in his foot as early as Dec. 18 against St. Raymond.
“We’re just gaining more confidence,” Fleming said. “I’ve never handled the ball this much. We’re all getting more experience. When Bryce comes back, we’re going to have even more ball-handlers. We’re excited about it.”
Iona Prep will travel to PSAL power Jefferson at 6 Friday night. Jerome will face St. John’s commit Shamorie Ponds, one of his likely competitors for the state’s “Mr. Basketball.”
Player of the game: Ty Jerome, Iona Prep. The 6-foot-4 guard finished 10 for 19 from the field and had six rebounds and four assists. He staked the Gaels to a 20-point halftime lead on 7-of-11 shooting from behind the arc.
Stat line: Fleming went 6 for 8 and scored 15 points. Iona Prep shot 55 percent as a team. … Malachi de Sousa led Kennedy with 17 points and had five rebounds. Jordan Wright had 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Quotable: “They were on fire. It’s hard to simulate that in practice,” Kennedy coach Al Morales said. “They are a good shooting team. I just think they were above and beyond that first half especially. That’s a great learning experience for us. That’s a great team. It’s a great, great game for us — a good reality check.”