2017-18 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage

Mars Area High School def. Wheeling Central Catholic High School, 77-70

Cancer Research Classic

WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 6, 2018 -- As Doc Merrick builds the annual Cancer Research Classic schedule, he tries to find a matchup for Wheeling Central -- the host school for the event -- a contest that will be competitive and challenging for the Maroon Knights.

Once again, he fully succeeded as the Knights dropped their first decision of the season, but it's one that could pay dividends as Central goes back to work in its chase for a West Virginia Class A state championship.

Wheeling Central went toe-to-toe with Mars, Pa., which is a suburb of Pittsburgh, for basically the entire 32 minutes, but Mars was able to use a late fourth-quarter spurt to pull out a 77-70 victory.

Entering the fourth, the game was tied at 54 and went back-and-forth throughout the bulk of the final period.

Interestingly, Mars never substituted in the game. And it stuck with that approach even though Notre Dame signee Robby Carmody collected his fourth foul with six minutes to play in the game. He simply responded from there despite Central making a bonified effort to attack him on the interior.

Carmody showed the moxy that you'd expect from a future ACC player, knowing just how much he could do to avoid becoming disqualified. He finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds and ended the game with a reverse dunk. He was named the game's MVP.

Andrew Recchia (19) and Cade Hetzler (16) were also impressive in the backcourt for the Planets. Michael Carmody, Robby's younger brother, used his 6-6 frame to finish with a double-double of 10 points and 12 boards.

The Maroon Knights were impressive, despite the loss. Seniors Owen Gainer and Brent Price went for 21 and 20 points, respectively. Neither player left the court. Gainer was 5-of-8 from behind the 3-point line.

Anthony Robbins was solid on the interior with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Cedric Williams had 12 points.

Central got off to a slow start, knocking down just 5-of-17 shots in the first quarter, but remained close since three of those connections were from deep.