By Colleen Kane, Chicago Tribune reporter
5:40 PM CST, January 19, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — St. Rita junior Victor Law grimaced and bounced the ball hard on the Springfield College court marked with maroon letters that read "Birthplace of basketball."
His passionate play Saturday afternoon, including the reaction to a first-quarter turnover, was a page from coach Gary DeCesare's book, Law said.
"Coach DeCesare, I wouldn't say he's crazy, but he's really into it," Law said. "He's really into the game, so we try to match his intensity."
Law's intensity and versatility stole the spotlight Saturday afternoon during No. 19 St. Rita's 71-50 victory over Lake Clifton (Md.) at the Spalding Hoophall Classic. The 6-foot-7 forward totaled 17 points, 19 rebounds, three steals and three assists. His rebound and dunk in the first quarter and his steal that led to his 3-pointer in the second were among the highlights as St. Rita (12-4) sped to a 38-24 halftime lead.
"I really try to push myself, and Coach DeCesare tries to tell us what we're going to do when we're not scoring," Law said. "Offense isn't everything in basketball. We can really push ourselves and take it to the next level."
St. Rita junior guard Dominique Matthews added 18 points and seven rebounds, including two first-quarter 3-pointers. Lake Clifton went scoreless for more than five minutes in the first half, and St. Rita went on a 12-0 run to take control.
Cortell Henson scored 20 points for Lake Clifton, which shot 19-for-68 from the field, including many misses under the basket.
St. Rita continues its trip Sunday when it plays at St. Raymond in the Bronx, N.Y., where DeCesare coached for 16 seasons. St. Raymond is honoring DeCesare's 1993 state championship team.
"I don't know if it's a good idea or bad," DeCesare said of the Sunday morning bus trip. "I'll tell you (Sunday)."
Player of the game: Victor Law, 17 points, 19 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists.
Key performers: St. Rita — Dominique Matthews, 18 points, 7 rebounds; Scott Kingsley, 10 points. Lake Clifton — Cortell Henson, 20 points, 16 rebounds; Daquan Ross, 17 points.
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