Parkersburg Catholic boys seek revenge against Notre Dame

JOSH HUGHES The Marietta Times Parkersburg Catholic’s Cade Ullman (12) looks to pass as St. Marys’ Isaak Mooney (5) defends during a high school boys basketball game earlier this season.

PARKERSBURG — Although few are predicting it, there’s a chance sectional rivals Parkersburg Catholic and Williamstown could play in the Class A state semifinals on Friday in Charleston.

Up first, though, the No. 6 seed Crusaders of head coach Rob Strcula will have to improve to 18-7 by upending third-seeded Notre Dame. The 21-4 Irish, who will be out for a third straight victory versus the Crusaders, will open up quarterfinal play at 9:30 a.m. today.

Notre Dame lost its sectional title, 36-34, to fifth-seeded Trinity after sweeping the Warriors in the regular season. Parkersburg Catholic will try to do the same in the postseason after falling at home to the Irish 76-59 early in the year and coming up short, 70-69, in mid-January at Clarksburg.

PCHS all-time leading scorer Cade Ullman continued his stellar senior campaign in the regional co-final. He amassed a new career-high of 44 points as the Crusaders punched their ticket to the big dance for the first time since 2016 following a 59-53 triumph against Tug Valley.

“We’re looking for him to be Cade Ullman and we need other guys to step up and play a little bit,” admitted Crusader boss Rob Strcula. “We’re not looking to go yet. What Cade did was nothing short of great in the regional. He missed like eight shots the entire game.

“He was feeling it in practice and we were confident where he was at. We’re here and we’re not going to be satisfied with just being here, but I think there was a lot of pressure for us to go out and win that regional game.”

Tyler Hardesty, who is averaging nine points, went off for 26 markers in Notre Dame’s first win against PCHS. In the second tilt, the Crusaders had the ball at the end of the contest, but couldn’t get off a potential game-winning shot.

“The guys seem pretty confident we can put ourselves in a position to win,” added Strcula, whose squad will have to deal with Gabe Zummo (20 ppg) and Jaidyn West (15 ppg). “We’ve got to do a lot of the little things we feel we can do to put is in that position.

“It will be a tough task, but we are up for any challenge right now. It’s going to come down to two things, how well can we defend and how well can we rebound, which is what we didn’t do the first half of both games when we played them this year.”