2010-11 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage

Northland High School def. Rice High School, 63-54

By Kurt Stubbs
Cancer Research Classic

WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 8, 2011 -- The 4th Annual Cancer Research Classic on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University kick-started with Ohio-power Columbus Northland meeting one of New York's finest in Rice.

In a game featuring two teams that never got too far apart, the Northland Vikings were able to come up with a huge three-point shot late in the contest and some key free-throw shooting to pull away for a hard-fought 63-54 triumph.

"Coming into the game we knew nothing about this team, so I told the team it was key for us to come out and hit them right in the mouth," said Northland point guard Trey Burke. "We made a couple mistakes, but we hadn't really played in a couple weeks because of break. We bounced back and played well enough to get the "W."

Coming into the contest, most people were somewhat familiar with Michigan-bound guard Trey Burke and he was steady as always, but some role guys were just as important down the stretch.

Jordon Potts, a junior guard for the Vikings, connected on a momentum changing three-point shot late in the game to give Northland some breathing room and eventually the win.

"That was a big shot," said Potts' teammate Trey Burke. "I didn't know he was going to shoot it. At the timeout, we were talking about time and score and what we needed to do. He had the open shot, so I don't mind. I felt like that shot really got us the win. It was the dagger."

Potts wasn't the only Viking role-guy who performed well as 6-foot-2 senior Jakyl Cornley came off the bench to score 10 points and grab four rebounds in just 15 minutes of play and 6-foot-8 junior Devon Scott was 4-of-4 from the floor for eight points and gathered a game-high 14 rebounds. Cornley was 6-of-7 at the charity stripe while Potts was 6-of-6. Potts closed the contest with 14 points and three assists.

Ironically, Potts' father Jeff played his high school ball at The Linsly School.

Burke, who was named the game's MVP, finished with 22 points on 9-of-18 to go along with three dimes. Though, nothing was easy for the Wolverine signee as he was held, grabbed, and smothered most of the afternoon.

"I was a little bit frustrated, but I couldn't let them see it," Burke mentioned. "Every time I got it they sent the pressure at me. I told the team every time I break the double-team we have to attack. I felt like we executed on that, definitely."

The game was very competitive throughout with both teams getting after it on the defensive end. Northland was able to jump out to a 14-11 lead after one quarter, but Rice won the 2nd period and closed the gap to 27-25 at the intermission.