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Ryan Allen, D.J. Harvey lead DeMatha over rival Gonzaga in WCAC thriller

By Washington Post, 02/17/17, 6:00AM EST


By Jacob Bogage February 16 at 10:48 PM 

Ryan Allen got the look when he walked into school Thursday morning and saw D.J. Harvey

“He had the fight in his eye,” Allen said of DeMatha’s senior forward.

Harvey’s head bobs ever so slightly when he’s in the zone. He saw the same look from Allen 12 hours later. The senior point guard ripped off his breakaway pants and canned three-pointers in pregame warmups, then kept on making shots after the game started in the sixth-ranked Stags’ 82-75 win in Hyattsville over No. 3 Gonzaga

At stake was first place in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, a league whose standings have been so volatile that DeMatha Coach Mike Jones was unable to tell his team after the game whether they finally had locked up the conference tournament’s top seed.

With two games to go, the answer is “not yet.” The win left DeMatha at 21-5, 13-3 in the WCAC; Gonzaga is 22-5, 14-3.

Allen scored 34 points, and Harvey added 25 — complete with a few roaring blocked shots. Eagles star Chris Lykes scored 23 points to become the school’s all-time leading scorer.

“When you think of the WCAC,” Harvey said, “you think of DeMatha-Gonzaga.”

“This rivalry has been going back since before I was born,” Allen said.

When Lykes, the reigning conference player of the year, got hot in the first half, Allen answered. Lykes went into intermission with 18 points, including a string of three-pointers that gave the Eagles a three-point lead. 

Allen, meanwhile, had 19 in the half. After a Lykes three-pointer, Allen knocked one down from the corner, an image reminiscent of the pair trading shots in their AAU days, Allen said.

“All these years, [Lykes] was killing me,” Allen said. “I had to get him back tonight.”

But Allen, a Delaware commit, committed his fourth foul with seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter and the game tied at

Harvey, a Notre Dame commit, picked up from there. On three straight possessions, DeMatha fed him the ball on the left wing and let him go to work. The Stags went on a 7-0 run and didn’t trail again.

“He was unbelievable,” Jones said. “He was a true leader throughout.”

It was Allen who put the final nail in Gonzaga, hitting a jumper with 21 seconds left to put the Stags up five. Gonzaga couldn’t counter, and when the buzzer sounded, DeMatha students rushed the floor and piled on Allen in the corner. 

The team’s seniors met Jones at midcourt to give him the game ball, which he tried to return to them before an assistant intervened and told the coach he had won his 400th game.