Fox, Prep handle La Salle

Colliding under the basket in the second quarter are Ryan Wall of St. Joseph's Prep and David Krmpotich of La Salle. The Hawks jumped out to a 32-11 lead at halftime and cruised the rest of the way.
Colliding under the basket in the second quarter are Ryan Wall of St. Joseph's Prep and David Krmpotich of La Salle. The Hawks jumped out to a 32-11 lead at halftime and cruised the rest of the way. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 02, 2014

With the likes of Steve Vasturia and Miles Overton starring in recent years for St. Joseph's Prep, Tom Fox had to patiently wait his turn for a crack at varsity time.

The positive was the quality time he got to spend with his father, Joe, who served as junior-varsity coach.

"That was awesome," Fox said of his sophomore and junior seasons. "I wouldn't trade it for the world."

Friday night against archrival La Salle, with Fox producing three of his team's 10 three-pointers, the visiting Hawks built a 24-point lead and easily triumphed, 58-47, in a Catholic League basketball matchup in Wyndmoor.

Joe Fox is a varsity assistant under Speedy Morris.

"He's very encouraging, win or lose," Tom Fox said. "He's always positive when giving me instruction or suggestions."

The 6-foot, 190-pound Fox, sporting his usual shaved head, shot 3 for 6 from beyond the arc en route to nine points. His first try of the night caromed hard off the glass.

"That was nerves," he said. "I settled down after that. I try not to let the misses keep me from shooting."

Boosted by Chris Clover (11 first-quarter points, including three treys) and Ricky Slusarczyk (five first-period points), the Prep turned a 5-3 deficit into a 16-5 advantage.

The first of Fox's two second-quarter treys made it 19-5. Soon after, courtesy of Alex Stewart's three from up top and Clover's right-side drive, the Hawks were in front, 24-6. The Explorers never recovered.

"We were moving the ball around, finding open spaces," Fox said. "A lot of times, when teams are focused on stopping Chris, it frees other guys up. You have to be ready to capitalize."

In snapping La Salle's six-game win streak, the Prep, which was 7 for 15 from three-point land before intermission, improved to 15-4 overall and 7-3 in Catholic League action.

"Every league game is important, but it's real serious when we play La Salle," said Fox, who added four rebounds and two assists. "You're taught at the Prep, 'You have to beat La Salle.' "

Clover, who came in averaging 22 points, hit four three-pointers on the way to 24 points. He shot 8 for 14 from the field (4 for 6 on threes) and 4 for 4 from the line.

Also contributing for the Hawks were wing Kyle Thompson (10 points, two assists) and point guard Alex Stewart (six points, four assists); Slusarczyk chipped in seven points and seven boards.

"We doubled the wrong people sometimes," Explorers coach Joe Dempsey said of the nightmarish beginning. "And Chris Clover had a special night. You have to give Prep the credit."

For La Salle, which slipped to 15-4 and 7-3, Sean Witherspoon managed nine points and Dave Krmpotich (six boards, two assists) and Sean Greenberg each had eight.

St. Joseph's Prep 16 16 13 13 – 58

La Salle 5 6 13 23 – 47

SJP: Alex Stewart 6, Kyle Thompson 10, Ricky Slusarczyk 7, Chris Clover 24, Tom Fox 9, Ryan Wall 2.

LS: Shawn Witherspoon 9, Najee Walls 7, Dave Krmpotich 8, Jalen Herdsman 7, Sean Greenberg 8, Chuck Champion 3, Dan Corr 5.


robrien@phillynews.com

@ozoneinq

www.inquirer.com/ozone

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