2008-09 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage

Neumann-Goretti High School def. St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, 76-64

By Kurt Stubbs
Cancer Research Classic

WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 3, 2009 -- High flying junior Daniel Stewart and Niagra signee Andre “Scooter” Gillette dominated the inside with numerous put back baskets and high wire act dunks leading Neumann-Goretti (5-1) to a 76-64 victory over Division II Ohio power, Akron St.Vincent-St.Mary. Most of the dunks were in emphatic fashion and some off fancy lob passes.

However, Head Coach Carl Arrigale wasn’t sure if his Saints, who are ranked 25th by ESPN, were going to be ready to play after last night’s encounter.

“Well, last night we played at 5:00 p.m. and then there was some miscommunication on the bus situation so it was crazy to say the least,” “Arrigale mentioned. Not to mention the team we played last night spread us out and made us work, so I wasn’t sure what our performance was going to be like tonight.”

What was the advantage?

“I thought our big guys did an unbelievable job of running the floor and finishing,” said the Saints boss. “Both Scooter (Andre Gillette) and Daniel (Stewart) run the floor very well and finish above the rim. I really thought we hurt them on the interior.”

Game MVP Daniel Stewart appears like the game comes too easy to him at times. The 6-foot-7 junior scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed a game-high 18 boards. For the game, the Saints owned a 41-27 edge on the glass.

“Daniel is one of those kids that does not know how good he can be,” “Arrigaled lamented. He will be as good as he wants to be. The coaches have been talking to him about playing hard all the time and not taking possessions off. He showed what he can do today when he does that.”

The kid being recruited by Houston and Drexel along with a host of others seems to dazzle when he comes to Wheeling making last year’s all-tournament team as a sophomore, but Stewart doesn’t worry about all the hype.

“I just play hard, and run the floor and try to get easy baskets,” Stewart commented. “I don’t really worry about all the other stuff like recruiting. Whoever calls is great, but I worry about playing basketball and all else will take care of itself.”

The whole team’s performance had Arrigale smiling after last year’s ugly output against Archbishop Carroll.

“I was so pleased we played a lot better this year after a disappointing showing last year,” said a relieved Saint boss. “We were never really in the game last year, which isn’t what we are all about. This is such a great event and Doc (Gregory Merrick) is such a great guy we just wanted to represent ourselves and this event well.”

The Young Irish (5-3) were just overmatched inside despite their refusal to back down for the 32-minute contest. Playing mainly two seniors, three sophomores, and two freshman Head Coach Dru Joyce and company were just a step behind for most of the day.

Senior Daylon Harrison led the Irish with 20 points and four rebounds. The IVY League recruit was strong all day scoring inside and out. Sophomore Ricky Johnson Jr. ended with 15 lightings.

The Saints, who put all five starters in double figures, got excellent play from Wake Forest junior recruit Tony Chennault finishing with 14 points and seven boards while Niagra signee Andre “Scooter” Gillette added 13 markers and seven caroms.

The inside play of Stewart (10-of-13) and Gillette (6-for-9) was good for a combine 16-of-22 from the floor.

Slick junior guards Tyreek Duren and Mustafa Jones finished with 14 and 13 points respectively. Jones is getting recruited heavily by the IVY Leagues.