2008-09 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage
By Kurt Stubbs
Cancer Research Classic
WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 3, 2009 -- Bishop McNamara (9-1), who is ranked 18th by ESPN’s Fab 50 and 19th by Max Preps, exploded in the second quarter en route to a 69-39 triumph of Northeast Catholic (4-5).
McNamara, out of Forestville, Maryland, used a 16-4 run from the 4:24 mark of the second quarter to the 6:02 mark of the third period to blow open a seven-point contest.
“We kind of felt them out in the first quarter a little bit,” stated McNamara head boss Marty Keithline. “We got to see them once, so we knew their personnel but not much else. It took us a little while to figure out what we wanted to do, but once we decided to go a littler bigger we really hurt them with our length inside.”
That may be an understatement of sorts as the Mustangs held the Falcons to just 28% shooting including 17% (5-of-29) in the second half.
“We were 18-11 last year, and lost seven games by five points or less,” Keithline relayed. “We really emphasized attention to detail on defense in the offseason, and the kids now understand that is the difference in games. Only one team has shot above 50% on this season and that was the game we lost (Christ the King).”
The Mustangs got quality early offensive output from George Mason recruit Rashad Whack with nine first half points and finished with 10.
6-foot-9 Pitt signee Talib Zanna, who was the game’s MVP, finished with 18 points, seven boards, and six blocks. Most of his work was done in the second half including a string of three monster dunks in the fourth quarter. McNamara outscored Northeast 18-3 in the fourth.
McNamara recorded 15 blocks for the afternoon. 6-foot-7 Brandon Coleman registered five blocks along with five points to combine with Zanna for a block party. Coleman is being sought after by Georgia, Clemson, and Georgia Tech for his football prowess.
North Carolina A&T recruit Lawrence Smith added nine points and six boards, while senior Ryan Washington furthered a like amount.
Northeast, out of Philadelphia, was led by junior Mike Terry’s nine points and seven boards. Highly sought after 6-foot-9 sophomore Rakeem Christmas ended his day with seven markers and nine caroms before fouling out at the 6:16 mark of the final stanza.