Catholic boys fall to Notre Dame

PARKERSBURG — Defending Class A state champion Clarksburg Notre Dame claimed a 74-57 boys basketball win over host Parkersburg Catholic Thursday night as the Crusaders’ record dropped to 3-2.

Both squads had a pair of double-digit point-producers on the night as Robert Griffith netted 21 points for the winning Fighting Irish, now 2-1, while teammate Vincent Zummo tallied 20.

For PCHS, Cade Ullman drilled in six treys en route to a 27-point performance and Patrick Copen collected 23 points with 12 coming on four 3-balls.

After a 3-3 tie, Notre Dame led for the rest of the game. Jared Fagan’s five points in a row made it 8-3 in the Irish’s favor. But Catholic stayed close throughout the first quarter until a 12-3 Notre Dame run from 3:24 to only 18.3 seconds left made it a 24-13 point advantage for the Irish.

The second stanza saw ND up its lead to as much as 15 at 35-20 at the 3:50 mark. PC however then rallied back itself to narrow the gap to 38-28 at 2:15, just to see another Irish spurt of 7-2 down the stretch propel them into a 45-31 halftime lead.

The Crusaders were not done yet though as they began the second half with a Aidan Stotts hoop followed by a Copen trey to bring the spread back to only single digits at 45-36 in the initial 52 seconds. But by the end of the third quarter however, the Irish had restored their lead back up to 14 again at 59-45.

In the first minute of the final period of the nitty-gritty physical game, PCHS head coach Rob Strcula was called for a technical foul that had been brewing with the refs for a while and the subsequent two free throws made it 64-45. And a second trey in the period by Andrew Rogers made it a 67-45 spread. A Copen hoop off an assist from Ullman and a Copen trey with 3:16 to play pulled PCHS within 16 at 70-54 before ND finished with a basket and two freebies by Griffith.

Even with the loss, Strcula still felt like his young team made some progress Thursday night.

“With the guys that we have out there, as young as they are, we’re being baptized by fire,” he said. “It may be a loss, but we also learned from it. These are the kind of games that are going to make us later on in the season. That’s why we go out and play the schedule that we do. I’d schedule anybody I can if it would make us better.”