When Zach Howell and the relaxation of the Catholic Fightin’ Irish noticed they ended up a No. 4 seed heading into the Blue and Gold Match, they shook their heads in disbelief.

“From the very commence, we have undoubtedly felt like we have been disrespected,” Howell said.

No a single can blame the Irish for feeling that way. All they have done is win and in convincing trend.

Catholic is on to the quarterfinal spherical of the Blue Division immediately after Monday’s 73-46 win more than Clever in the initial spherical. The Irish are 10- this year with sweeps through the Intelligent Event and wins in excess of some top Arkansas systems.

2021 BLUE AND GOLD Tournament Coverage

With eight seniors, which include one particular of the area’s elite players, the Irish come to feel like they’re capable of significant operates in the Blue and Gold and in large-time game titles that will come down the line.

Springfield Catholic's Zach Howell drives to the basket around Clever's Aaron Rice during the first round of the Blue and Gold Tournament at Hammons Student Center on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021.

“It really is variety of motivated our young ones coming in right here and that is a fantastic matter,” 1st-calendar year head mentor Jack Simpson explained. “Even in practice, it can be kept us engaged and there’s a minimal far more determination coming into this tournament for positive.”

The Irish start out with their star senior, Howell, who has obtained Electric power 5 fascination. He’s scored 20 or a lot more points in every match but two for the Irish this period like a 30-position effectiveness on Monday.

Howell showed a little little bit of every thing that would make him so special all through the game. The 6-foot-5 guard shot the ball very well from outside and made plays at the basket. He’s a tough defensive participant and was not frightened of diving for the loose ball — even when the Irish had a relaxed lead.

The Springfield Catholic Fightin Irish take on the Clever Blue Jays in the first round of the Blue and Gold Tournament at Hammons Student Center on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021.

The Division I recruit lives up to the buzz but his head mentor thinks there must be even much more hoopla.

“I consider Zach is essentially kind of an underrated participant in this spot,” Simpson mentioned. “There are a lot of seriously good gamers in this space and Zach’s suitable up there with him. He places in the do the job and he is an extremely competitor and I think which is what will make Zach elite.”