2015-16 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage

Wheeling Central Catholic High School def. Archbishop Wood Catholic High School, 75-74

By Kurt Stubbs
Cancer Research Classic

WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 2, 2016 -- The 9th Annual Cancer Research Classic (CRC), the Nation’s Premier Catholic High School Basketball Tournament, tipped off early Saturday morning inside the McDonough Center on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University.

Wheeling Central Catholic, a local favorite and yearly entrant into the CRC, faced a very good Archbishop Wood team out of Warminster, PA. The Vikings were coming off a trip to Arizona, while Wheeling CC just captured the Undo’s Holiday Tournament on the very same court it played on Saturday.

Wheeling Central Catholic senior and West Virginia signee, Chase Harler, who was playing in his 4th CRC game, saved his best for last. The 6-foot-3 Harler scored 38 points on 12-of-15 shooting, which included a 15-point 3rd quarter to help the Maroon Knights escape with a coveted (75-74) victory.

The game was back-and-forth for much of the morning, and really had an argument for game of the day. The Knights overcame a 2nd half deficit thanks to Harler’s 25 points in the game’s final 16 minutes.

The Vikings were on top after one quarter (22-20) as talented sophomore Tyree Pickron and junior Collin Gillespie combined for 17 points. The Knights stayed within striking distance thanks to 10 points from junior John Burkhalter.

Defense was again optional in the 2nd quarter as Archbishop Wood was able to take a (39-35) lead into the locker room. Cat quick senior guard Tommy Funk was able to get going for Wood with seven points in the periods on some slick finishes at the basket. Harler paced the Maroon Knights with eight points in the quarter, while Burkhalter added five more.

Head coach Mel Stephens’ team was able to take control in the 3rd quarter thanks to Harler’s explosion and some added offense from junior guard Gabe Rohmann (10 points).

Additionally, Harler was 11-of-13 from the foul line. Burkhalter totaled 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Archbishop Wood placed four players in double figures led by Pickron’s 20 points and added seven rebounds. Gillespie totaled 15 points and six rebounds, Funk notched 13 points, and junior Matt Cerruti chipped in 11. Talented sophomore Karrington Wallace was good for nine points.

WCC was 17-of-26 from the foul line for the game, while the Vikings were just 2-of-9. The Maroon Knights committed 15 turnovers, which was nine more than the Vikings.

Stat of the Game:
Wheeling Central shot 58 percent from the field, which included a 8-of-16 showing from three-point range.