2008-09 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage

St. Joseph's Preparatory School def. Wheeling Central Catholic High School, 44-32

By Kurt Stubbs
Cancer Research Classic

WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 3, 2009 -- On an afternoon when neither team set the gym on fire with its shooting performance, St. Joseph’s Prep (7-2) used its solid defense to hold Wheeling Central (3-2) to just 32 points in a 44-32 triumph.

However, don’t tell legendary Philadelphia area Head Coach William “Speedy” Morris about his defense.

“I didn’t think our defense was very good at all,” stated a somewhat displeased Morris. “I thought we did a poor job of stopping penetration, but they just missed the shots. If they make a couple buckets, they have a real good chance of beating us. Thinking of the nine teams we have played seven of those teams were more talented than this team. The thing is coach (Mel) Stephens does an outstanding job and his kids play extremely hard which is a testament to him.”

For whatever reason, neither team could throw the ball in the ocean if standing on the shore. Call it good defense, poor shooting, neither team shot over 35% for the game. The Hawks shot 33.3 % for the contest, while the Maroon Knights were just 10-of-35 (28.6%) including a dismal 4-of-22 effort in the second half.

The Hawks’ star shooter Joe Nardi finished with 18 points, but on just 4-of-15 shooting. Nardi never seemed comfortable from the floor, but did manage to go 7-of-7 from the charity stripe.

“Joe is a great shooter, but for whatever reason was just cold today,” Morris relayed. “Joe is shooting around 60% from the three-line for the year, but when he is off he is off. He went 1-of-19 in a game earlier this season, but we still found a way to win and he will make enough other plays.”

One player not affected by the sloppy play was 6-foot-3 senior Pete Buzby. The game MVP finished with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting including 13 boards and four dimes.

“Pete brings it to the table every night,” Morris extended. “He isn’t the most talented player, but he works as hard as anyone. He is just a great kid to coach. Actually, he was MVP in a tournament earlier this season in a game he didn’t even score.”

Leading the way for Wheeling Central was junior Jordan Sorge with eight points. Senior D’Onte Long added seven markers, while senior Cody Koehler led the team with 13 boards.