2007-08 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage
By Don Clegg
Cancer Research Classic
WHEELING, W.Va., Dec. 15, 2007 -- Junior guard Rodney McGruder teamed with senior wing Kris Joseph to help Archbishop Carroll break open a tight battle with Neumann-Goretti in the Cancer Research Classic at Wheeling Jesuit University. In a game featuring teams from two of the premier high school basketball leagues in the East, the Lions of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference dominated the final four minutes of a 62-50 victory against the Saints from the Philadelphia Catholic League. The 6-8 Joseph, a Syracuse commit, put Archbishop Carroll ahead to stay at 40-39 when he banked in a 25-footer just ahead of the third quarter buzzer. McGruder, a fast-rising 6-4 combo guard who verbaled to Kansas State in October, got Coach Clinton Perrow's Lions off to a flying start in the final stanza. He opened the quarter with a conventional 3-point play off a fast break and followed that with a 3-pointer from the right corner for a 46-39 lead. Neumann-Goretti closed the gap to 46-44 on a driving layup by impressive 6-6 sophomore forward Daniel Stewart and a 3-point bomb by 6-5 senior forward Shane Irwin as the clock turned under 4 minutes.
That's when McGruder and Joseph took center stage for Archbishop Carroll. McGruder followed in his own miss for a 48-44 lead and then finished off a pretty feed from Joseph with a rim-rattling dunk at the end of a fast break, forcing Saints head coach Carl Arrigale into a timeout with 3:12 remaining. Stewart tried to stop the bleeding with a short jumper from the side but the Lions were off to the races. Joseph eventually wrapped up an 11-2 run with a ringing slam dunk off a lob from McGruder, putting the game on ice at 57-46 with just 1:02 to go. McGruder took game scoring honors with 24 points -- 13 of them coming in the fourth quarter alone. He also weighed in with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Joseph backed McGruder with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists while 6-7 senior post Aleks Mitrovic had a quiet 10 points and 6 boards. Rhode Island signee Jamal Wilson, a 6-5 senior small forward, led Neumann-Goretti with 14 points. Super sophs Stewart and Tony Chennault added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Joseph, who was just one rebound shy of a double-double at halftime, helped Archbishop Carroll build a commanding 37-26 lead off the glass. Neither team shot well from the foul line. Neumann-Goretti cashed just 5-of-11 from the stripe while the Lions were 12-for-19.