PARKERSBURG - No. 7 Charleston Catholic led from 3:37 of the first quarter on in registering a 71-59 boys basketball victory over host No. 14 Parkersburg Catholic in a Class A matchup Friday night.
But the Irish, now 10-5, never began to pull away from the Crusaders (9-7) until the last minute and a half left of the third quarter.
That's when Patrick Herlihy scored on a rebound bucket as PCHS was whistled for a technical, resulting in two free throws, before Nick George canned a trey with 3.3 seconds for a 12-point lead, 49-37, going to the fourth quarter.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg Catholic's Joe Padden, right, dribbles around Charleston Catholic's Nick George as Austin Luther moves in to set a screen Friday. Charleston Catholic won, 71-59. Additional photos of this event can be found at CU.newsandsentinel.com
And Charleston Catholic continued its momentum to open the fourth, putting up 11 of the initial 16 points in the period to surge out to an 18-point bulge at 60-42 by the 4:41 mark behind Garrett McCarty and George.
Then a 6-0 spurt by the Irish made it a commanding 21-point advantage, 66-45, with just 2:42 to play.
George's 25 points on the night topped all scorers in the game. He was followed on the CCHS side by Garrett McCarty with 17 and Hayden McCarty with 10.
For PCHS, Joe Padden paced the Crusaders' point-production with 18, while Payton Sturm netted 15 and Carson Weyer added nine.
The hosts led 3-0 on a Ben Collie trey in the first 16 seconds of the game. But a 7-0 burst, fueled by George with five points, enabled CCHS to take the lead for good at 9-5 with 2:26 left in the first period, and the Irish expanded that to eight, 16-8, by the quarter break.
The second stanza saw PCHS stay between five to 11 points behind. But in the third quarter, a Sturm three-point play narrowed the gap to only three, 31-28, at the 5:55 mark, but no further.
"We played well for about three, three and a half quarters," said Crusader head coach Rob Strcula. "We gave great effort, but there was about a four-minute span in the third quarter where they extended the lead. It was about a 10-point swing. But we played dumb - we had a bad technical foul, we had some breakdowns in rebounding and committed a few turnovers. And against a good team like them, you can't play 95 precent of the game. You've got to play 100 percent of the game, and you've got to play hard and you've got to play smart."