Nathan Hale coach Brandon Roy said the nation’s No. 2 recruit will be ready for the Hoophall Classic on Monday.
SEATTLE — The No. 1-ranked Nathan Hale Raiders rolled to an 83-48 victory over Bishop Blanchet on Friday, a win made more impressive by the absence of star Michael Porter Jr.
Porter Jr. was suspended for the game, along with younger brother Coban, after being ejected in Tuesday’s 91-55 victory over Franklin.
The big news wasn’t that Porter Jr. missed the game, but that he sat on the bench wearing a walking boot on his right foot just three days prior to facing Virginia’s Oak Hill Academy at the Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts.
“I won’t go into details about what happened, but he’s fine,” Nathan Hale coach Brandon Roy said. “He wasn’t allowed to play tonight, so we told him pretty much that he was going to keep the boot on. We’ll practice in Boston on Sunday and he’s ready to go, full go, no restraints.”
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Roy said Porter Jr. will wear the boot when the team travels Saturday.
Bishop Blanchet gave the Raiders all they could handle in the first half, but still trailed 40-35 at halftime. In the second half, the Braves shots faltered and the nation’s top team pulled away.
“I thought the guys did a great job of responding,” Roy said. “In the second half, (the Braves) only scored 13 points. That was our best half of defense, with or without Michael. I was really proud of the way those guys responded, especially on short notice having to play without your best player.”
Senior Keegan Crosby stepped up in Porter Jr.’s absence, scoring a game-high 30 points against his former team.
“He was a little nervous coming into this game,” Roy said. “Even Tuesday, he may have even overlooked Franklin thinking about this game, but I told him, ‘Hey man, you’ve got to relax. The game is going to come, and when the game comes that’s when you’ve got to go out there and play hard.’ I thought he did a great job. You never know how that coming-home party is going to go, but I thought he was aggressive and he made shots. You can tell he’s played in this gym before because he knows the baskets. Keegan has been doing a great job all year. I know people don’t like guys transferring, but for me, I’m happy I have him on my team.”
Porter’s Jr.’s younger brother Jontay also chipped in 20 points for the Raiders.