2016-17 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage
By Kurt Stubbs
Cancer Research Classic
WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 6, 2017 -- The 10th Annual Cancer Research Classic (CRC), the Nation’s Premier Catholic High School Basketball Tournament, tipped off early Friday afternoon inside the McDonough Center on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University.
The day opened with the nation’s No. 2 team, Findlay Prep (NV), taking on upstart First Love Christian Academy (PA). Findlay Prep would use a 19-4 run to close out the 3rd quarter to help the Pilots score a decisive (99-78) victory to remain unbeaten heading into Saturday’s primetime matchup with the nation’s No. 1 team in La Lumiere (IN).
Kentucky signee PJ Washington got off to a quick start for the Pilots scoring the game’s first five points and nine in the quarter. However, the Frisco, Texas native would miss the entire 2nd quarter after picking up his 3rd foul in the opening eight minutes.
Following dunks by Washington, junior Reggie Chaney, and senior Lamine Diane, the Nevada-based school would expand a two-point advantage to (20-9). Senior David Collins did his best to keep First Love in the game thanks to nine first quarter points, which included a left corner triple to end the stanza closing Findlay’s lead to 30-24 at the break.
First Love made a living in the opening quarter on lane drives and lob passes up around the rim for dunks. 6-foot-6 senior Dylan Morrison was on the receiving end of four of those. Despite the Pilots inability to get back on defense, PJ Washington’s team was able to keep its lead thanks to a pair of late quarter triples from senior guard Chris Giles.
Diane (5 points) and Giles (5 points) kept the Pilots in front in the 2nd quarter despite Collins, a Youngstown, Ohio native, and his three triples.
The 3rd quarter featured a pair of runs. The Knights were able to close within a single point at (56-55) following a Collins conventional three-point play, back-to-back baskets from 6-foot-7 senior Samson George, another Collins inside basket, and a Morrison putback.
DePaul signee Justin Roberts, a Pike HS (IN) transfer, stopped the run with a pull up jumper. Roberts jumper started a 16-0 run that featured six points from Diane and seven from Roberts. Junior guard Darrell Brock stopped the run with a drive-in basket, but Roberts countered with a trey giving the Pilots a commanding 75-59 lead after three.
After the 19-4 run to close the 3rd quarter, the game’s intensity dropped immensely in a ho-hum 4th quarter.
Diane, who was awarded the game’s MVP, tallied 20 points on a 7-of-8 showing from the floor and added four rebounds. Roberts added 19 points, Washington chipped in 16 points, seven assists, and five rebounds, Giles accounted for 16 points, and Jack Schwietz had 11.
Collins paced First Love with 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting and added five rebounds and five steals. Brock and George each had 13 points, and Morrison contributed 10 in defeat.
Stat of the Game:
Findlay Prep’s 16-0 run in the 3rd quarter all but sealed the deal.