Knock on Woods
CATHOLIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP PREDICTION
Well the championship is finally here so I guess its time for me to
make my final pick. Rutter accused me of sending my picks in after the
games have ended so today Ill send it a whole day earlier. This game is
probably the hardest to pick yet. Both teams are #1 in their respective
divisions so neither team is a clear favorite. The Prep has the best
record in the city and defeated Camden Catholic (who beat Dougherty) but
Dougherty also has some advantages. The south is generally recognized as
the more competitive division, but The Cardinals win over Neumann showed
that they are not inferior just because they are from the North.
Unfortunately, I havent gotten to see either team play; only read about
them and researched the teams on this site. Although Teds site gives an
amazing amount of information, there are still some things you can only
understand about a team by seeing them live. That is why I dont feel
that I can fully analyze the game enough to make such an important
decision without seeing either team. Instead I decided to make a list of
advantages each team has.
Cardinal Dougherty Advantages:
-They are made up of mostly black kids: Smarter Players
-They are from the North (I have pride in my division, even if I dont
in my team)
- My Mom was a founding member of the Looney Bin.
- Have a player named DeSEAN. Anytime someone spells the name Sean
correctly, he will have a huge advantage at everything in life. Even if
he adds a prefix like Le, Ra De or Key
-They keep it real and treat injuries in the deprived Archdiocesan
School way: using ice and being tough. No whirlpools to rest in here!
- Have girls at their school. Seeing girls in the stands might be a HUGE
distraction to Prep players.
St. Josephs Prep Advantages:
-They are made up of mostly white kids: More Athletic Players.
- A hawk would destroy a Cardinal. But would a hawkling???
- Have a powerful weapon and a good player with a St. Alphonsus
education in Kyle Eisenmann- thats dangerous!
- Have their own TedSilary.com reporter (Im not sure how helpful this
is because it didnt seem to help the Lancers)
- Have the higher rank of Saint over Cardinal.
- Speedy Morris will have home court coaching advantage.
- Won the All-Important Ted Silary Fan Tournament
Based upon that I am going to go ahead and predict Prep 60 Dougherty 60
So far Ive picked 5 of 6 games correctly- thats a solid 83%! I havent
seen a grade that good in quite some time so Im not about to risk
Good luck to both teams. I may make an appearance so expect a full house
Last week: Not bad if I do say so myself. I got three out of four and
made only 2 mistakes. My first was that I was wrong in one game because
I meant to have Roman with 62. The second was making the huge mistake of
having faith in my former teammates John Creed and Kyle Eisenmann, who
scored a whopping 0 points combined. Other than that, everything went
just as I predicted. I hate to pick the favorites but this week I'm
going with the higher seed in both games.
Dougherty 65, Neumann 58
This will be the Cardinals' first real test since facing Camden Catholic.
Make no mistake, the Neumann Pirates have a great shot at winning and
have a lot more big-game experience so Dougherty cannot underestimate
them and will have to bring their "A" game. But now I'm going to do fans
of these teams a favor and stop pretending I know anything about either
Prep 51, La Salle 39
Two great rival schools face off on the hardwood in this showdown. The
battle in the stands will be just as intense as the one on the court,
but don't expect a lot of flashy plays and dazzling moves. This one
will feature a lot of good solid textbook basketball. Both teams are
very good at what they do but the Prep has much more talent. I'm not
predicting any particular players to have great games, but with that
said don't be surprised if Creed and Eisenmann both light it up.
I'm going to have cut this submission short because I'm afraid that if I
type anymore my arm will fall off. The Lancers overcame the snow and
started baseball today and I can barely move. Instead of lifting or
working out this winter, I decided to sit on my ass and do basketball
reports. Much to my surprise, reporting does not get you into shape. So
this baseball season I will be continuing "Knock on Woods" with reports
from the field -- I mean the bench. Hey you asked for it! I know you
didnt, but you're getting it anyway. So much for cutting it short, there
goes the arm.
I realize this is pretty late but, that is in true "Knock on Woods"
fashion. The playoffs are here and what would they be without some good
old predictions? Huck has seemingly disappeared from the scene, so I
decided to take it upon myself to make the playoff picks. I haven't
really followed the south at all, so most of these are just guesses.
Roman 60, Neumann 60
I dunno why, just a feeling. (How do you like this expert analysis so
far?) (NOTE FROM TED: I don't know if this was a typo or Sean
being Sean, but the game WAS tied until the buzzer!!)
Prep 52, Carroll 35
The Prep can be beaten, but not by Carroll. The last time these teams
met, the entire Prep team was suffering from strep throat but still had
no problem beating the Patriots 62-43. Coach Speedy Morris will make
sure his team does not make an early exit this year. Expect St.
Alphonsus grad Kyle Eisenmann to have a great game.
La Salle 55, Wood 46
Wood has a great leader in PG Greg Arrow and a deep bench, which are
both necessities in the playoffs, but they don't have an answer to La
Salle's Will Furey. Also expect quality minutes from senior guard John
Creed, who has been known to step up in big games.
Dougherty 80, Ryan 59
Props to Ryan for fighting hard to make the playoffs, only to earn
certain elimination by having to play Dougherty. I expect a fast paced,
high scoring game. For Ryan, Joe Mullin will play hard and gunners Jim
Welsh and Joe Zeglinski will get off some nice shots, but Dougherty's
DeSean White, Kyle Lowry & Company will be too much to handle.
Wood 83, McDevitt 39
As you can probably tell by the score, this one was ugly. In fact,
it was even uglier than McDevitts season. As I walked toward the gym at
Wood I thought back to the last time I was there, and how much things
can change in a year. Yes, it was only 1 year ago when there was a very
very intense rivalry between Wood and McDevitt. Both schools had evenly
matched football teams, and after two upsets wins by Wood and A LOT of
trash talk, a friendly competition turned into complete hatred. Another
thing that played a major role in the rivalry was a little thing called
Random Thoughts. This great place gave students the chance to
ridicule other, and the trash talk that took place caused the tension
between the teams to escalate daily. Then on February 1, 2002 it seemed
as though something big was finally going to happen, and there would be
a big confrontation between the schools. McDevitts basketball team
would be paying the Wood Vikings a friendly visit, along with the Krazy
Korner. The stands were packed on both sides, and the chanting wars were
unforgettable. At the time, Wood students seemed to think that McDevitt
could not beat them in anything, so Lancer fans waited in the parking
lot intent on showing them otherwise.
One year later, the competition on the gridiron had dropped
significantly. McDevitt steamrolled over Wood and decided they that
didnt hate them that much anymore. The scene on the basketball court
was similar, except with Wood being successful and McDevitt struggling.
Last year I would have never believed that I would be going into Wood
alone, but that is exactly what happened tonight. I am not making this
long introduction just to set up the game, but to demonstrate the need
for a Thoughts page. While its removal did help to stop trash talk, it
also emptied a lot of the stands, which Im sure was not the goal.
Since youre already reading this I guess I might as well tell you
about the game itself. No real contest in this one folks. It was Wood
all the way. They have a nice line up of capable players who are very
unselfish. They are very patient and move the ball around until an
opportunity presents itself. Wood also has solid outside shooters and
quite possibly the deepest bench in the league. Even their subs kept
cool heads throughout and didnt rush anything. Coming off the bench to
lead the way for Wood was jr. SF Brian Klumpp with 13 points (1-2, 3-4).
Sophomore rising star Matt Spadafora (11 points) and sr. Forward Tim
Opdyke (10 points) were also very instrumental in Woods success. No one
individual stands out for Wood. Their players pass the ball around until
one of them gets an open look, and when they get one, they usually
always make it. The man that keeps the offence running smoothly is their
floor leader is senior PG Greg Arrow (8 points). He has good natural
instincts and knows what to do even when coach Joe Sette isnt screaming
it from the sidelines. McDevitts struggles were most personified by sr. C
Mike Ross. Ross went 2 for 17 for 7 points in what was not his first
shaky performance of the season. He is a gifted athlete with good size
and quickness but I sometimes wonder if Jack Rutter has ever told him
that he is supposed to be playing center. If Im not mistaken a centers
task is to get rebounds and try to make inside, high percentage shots. Im
no math wiz, but I dont think that 2 for 17 comes out to a very high
percentage. A centers job does not entail bringing the ball up on fast
breaks or being any where near the arc. If Ross hopes to be successful
in college (Mansfield) he needs become much more disciplined, especially with his
shot selection. He and sr. WG Chris Hanes together make up the most
inconsistent duo in the Catholic League. Senior PG Chris Palmero hit a
triple-shot of threes and made a foul shot for a 10 point 4th after 3
scoreless quarters. Also providing a bright spot for the Lancers was jr.
Bradley Tucker (5 points). Tucker is a somewhat shy player, but did not
hesitate to step up and make some aggressive plays. Wood did not get a
lot of offensive production form their big men. Starting Center John
Gwiazdowski (2 points) was replaced by sr. Eric Maley, who had trouble
holding onto the ball and getting position under the net. It will be
interesting to see what they will do about LaSalles Will Furey when
they meet the Explorers in the 1st round of the playoffs. This game was
filled with turnovers and was pretty sloppy at times. Even sr. sub Ryan
Cressman had a steal for McDevitt. Late in the 4th with Woods starters
on the bench, sr. sub Pat Haggerty got hot to destroy the Lancers' chances
to chip away at the score enough to make it seem less embarrassing.
Im sure this is a tough time for McDevitts senior players,
especially the ones that will not be continuing their basketball careers
in college. To any player that this applies to I want to say this:
Although things didnt work out as planned, you never gave up and
continued to play hard so you should be proud of yourself. You also got
the chance to play at a very high level of competition where it is just
an accomplishment to be on the team. I hope you realize what a great
experience it is to play high school sports. Finally, please understand
that any criticisms I made were meant to be constructive and not to
This concludes my reporting on McDevitt basketball, but youll
probably hear from me again during the playoffs or in baseball season. I
hope that my reporting was as fun for you to read as it was for me to
Ryan 61, McDevitt 45
It seemed too good to be true -- it was. McDevitt had just beaten Conwell-
Egan in an upset for their 3rd win in 4 games after a terrible 0-8 start
to their season. Maybe they could beat Wood and Ryan too. Not quite. The
Lancers were anxious to build off their big win last week and carry that
intensity into their next game against Wood. Unfortunately that game was
postponed and rescheduled twice, rumor has it that there was a rain
delay or a storm of some kind last weekend. Regardless, they still felt
prepared to upset Ryan as well.
I figured I'd catch a ride to the game with the team bus, but like every
other bus I've had to catch in my life, I missed it. As I started to
walk into the school I heard a very familiar sound behind me, girls'
voices screaming "Sean!" at the top of their lungs. It was the girls'
basketball team explaining that they were going to Ryan too and that I
could get a ride with them. I didn't really follow the Lady Lancers'
season but I figured it wasn't much better than the boys when their
coach started the pre-game speech, "OK, girls, so far we've started off
every game by falling behind 20-0. Let's see if we can get a lead from
the start this time." Somehow their bus arrived a good half hour before
the boys did. Despite Archbishop Ryan having amazingly hot girls, I had
no desire to watch the girls' game so I continued to the other gym and
waited for the JV team. Things did not bode well for the varsity after
the girls and JV both lost by 40. With a good crowd in attendance for
senior night the enthused Ryan Raiders jumped out to a quick lead and
never gave McDevitt a chance to compete. Junior Joe Mullin got hot early
and was unstoppable all night. He was unchallenged in the post all
night. Mullin, a 6-5 C who is athletic enough to play any position, shot
14 for 20 en route to 31 points. Ryan used a 1-3-1 defense that was very
effective in preventing McDevitt center Mike Ross (12 points) from
getting the ball in the low post. McDevitt played very foolish
basketball and forced their disastrous run 'n gun defense when
pressured. At halftime they were down 32-16 and made only 7 of their 20
attempts. The slaughter continued in the 2nd half when Ryan decided to
put on a show. Mullin scored on a pair of flashy alley-oop passes from
Joe Zeglinski (3 points) and Rick Ferraiolo (3-3, 6 points). Mullin then
returned the favor by tossing a pretty no-look oop to Ferraiolo on the
very next play. Junior SG Jim Welsh, who notched 28 in the teams' last
meeting, looked very impressive in warm-ups and hit every jumper he took
with ease. He saw limited minutes in the game and managed only 3 points
on 3 attempts. Forward Mike Devine, Ryan's only returning starter from
last season, scored 8 points and showed a lot of leadership but needs
some longer shorts. Ryan will look to him to provide more of the same
direction as they enter the playoffs. McDevitt had mixed performances
from their back court players tonight. Sr. guard Chris Palmero, who is
usually a reliable shooter, threw up trey after trey but sunk only one,
while Greg Stitt had 15 points. Stitt is an electrifying play-maker who
will be a force in the league for years to come.
Next week's report on the McDevitt-Wood game will be the final report on
McDevitt basketball in "Knock on Woods". Hopefully it won't be so prolix
(another one of the many vocab words I've used this season).
Player of the Game: Joe Mullin
Fans of the game: Fred Hanes & his entourage.
Student Reporter: Sean Woods- I think I had all of my stats correct.
(It's about time!)
McDevitt 63, Conwell-Egan 51
The mustache is back and so are the W's! Actually Coach Jack Rutter never had wins to begin with, but he has them now. Tonight's win over Egan gave McDevitt their third consecutive win, and only their third win of the league season. Some people say that the team's recent success is because of Rutter's new offense, but he attributes it all to the return of his mustache.
Although it was Valentine's Day, Lancer fans showed no love to visiting Conwell-Egan. The Krazy Korner was back in action for McDevitt's last home and the last night of Korner action for many seniors. I arrived at the game 2:26 left in the 1st half with McDevitt up 24-23. My tardiness was the fault of my ride to the game, class president Liz Dugan, whose punctuality was obviously not one of the qualities that got her elected. Luckily I didn't miss anything big besides sr. Ryan Cressman's first start of his career- and probably his entire life. Cressman's only action came when he earned a trip to the line early on, but missed both attempts with shots that weren't exactly the prettiest in the world. McDevitt's basketball player's successfully avenged the football players by shutting down Beer nuts and Brazil nuts. Senior Forwards Matt Brazil and Rob Biernat both received All-Catholic honors for their performances on the football field and McDevitt coach Pat Manzi joked that QB Rob Dougherty was responsible for their honors. Egan picked off Doc 5 times in their 21-10 win over McDevitt. Tonight Brazil was held to just 2 points and Biernat managed only 6. Sophomore Mark Kostic (6 points) was not the prolific scorer that I expected but he played aggressively on defense and distributed the ball nicely. He fouled out after 3 quarters of play. Junior Ryan O'Hara led the Eagles in the scoring department with 19. He hit J's from the perimeter while junior C Dan Gibney took care of the inside scoring. For McDevitt senior G-F Chris Hanes came off a 7 point performance against Judge and poured in 20 tonight. Hanes is great when he has his shot but is very inconsistent. He's either on or off the whole game but tonight he was on fire. He is maturing as a player because unlike early in the season when he would continue fire away after repeated misses, he knows his own game and plays unselfishly when he's in a shooting funk. Senior Center Mike Ross racked up 19 points with incessant drives and post up moves. He is perfecting his game and also doing better with free throws. It's bittersweet to see the team improve individually and collectively because now they are only playing for pride. One thing that McDevitt does not do is substitute. In their last three wins only starters have scored and they are responsible for over 92% of the team's points on the season. McDevitt's only real substitution tonight (besides Cressman's charity minutes) came when Andrew Crawford came in for a few seconds after a Chris Palmero injury. You can't have a successful season without ever getting your bench involved. The game was close until McDevitt ran away with it in the 4th and scored 23 points in the quarter.
Player of the Game: Mike Ross
Krazy Korner Chanter: This award goes to anyone who was kicked out, especially those who deliberately disobeyed the school's banning of the word "Shocker". There is nothing bold about leaving a game early; those who got kicked out departed in true Krazy Korner fashion.
Student Reporter: Sean Woods.
McDevitt 55, Judge 52 (OT)
Every day for the last two weeks, Head Coach/Disciplinarian Jack Rutter came over to me and said "Were gonna win against Judge baby" and for once I honestly believed him. This is a different McDevitt team than the one in the 1st half of the season and even though they lost to LaSalle and Dougherty, they put up a fight in both games. Thus far they have gone 2-2 in the second half and are hoping to make a late season push for the playoffs. With the way things are going in the Catholic North it doesnt seem impossible. No, wait, it is still impossible. They have no chance. I called out of work sick to see this game and it was well worth the risk of being fired. There was a nice crowd in attendance but the Krazy Korner opted to support the hockey team instead. It pays to be loyal, they missed a real treat.
I thought that there was a mistake when I saw that Jr. Joe Swoyer was starting in place of forward Andrew Crawford (I later found out that Crawford was ill), but Swoyer had a terrific game. He scored the first basket of the game and came up with loose balls and rebounds in key situations. It was a tough job to step in and play against Judges gargantuan forwards, but he fought hard and grabbed boards away from players that were heads and shoulders taller. Judges offense consisted of a lot of passing with very little dribbling in an attempt to pick apart the Lancers 2-3 defense. Senior PG Bill Geiger (7 points) is their floor leader and does a nice job controlling the offense. He and his brother John Geiger (5 points) make up one of the two sets of brothers on the team. The Horcher brothers sat the bench. Judge tried to work the ball inside to C Steve Wolf (12 points) and take advantage of the size advantage. He usually drew double teams, and would toss it back to Tom Keenan or Jim Glowienka for an outside jumper. It wasnt long before both sides ditched their slowed down game plans and the game turned into a fast paced race from one end of the court to the other. Both teams played tremendously in the low post and made loads of blocks, but the Lancers hustle made the difference. They got a lot of second chances and denied them to Judge. The score was very close throughout, with McDevitt holding a 3 point lead after each of the first three quarters. In the 4th quarter the refs, Dumb and Dumbers Harry and Lloyd, blew a string of calls that almost took McDevitt out of the game. After one bad call McDevitt fan Tyrone Holt yelled, "Yo, are you refs or do you work at Footlocker?" Late in the game with the score tied at 41, Mike Ross (game high 20 points) appeared to be fouled on a drive to the net when he was knocked to the ground and there was a scuffle for the ball. The whistle blew but no foul was called, and after a lot of screaming from both sides of the court, a jump ball was called and the ball was given to Judge. As Judge began to inbound the ball, a technical foul was called on McD PG Chris Palmero (11pts.). Apparently its against the rules for a player to go about his business and do nothing at all after a bad call. It was the first of Palmeros 3 fouls on the night, but he didnt commit any of them. The technical put Jim Glowienaka on the line where he hit both clutch free throws to put Judge ahead 43-41. McDevitt answered right back with a pair of freebies from Palmero who is virtually automatic from the stripe. With 40 seconds left in the game Judge passed the ball around to hold for the last shot. They did so successfully until sophmore Greg Stitt (11 points) stepped in front of a Judge pass and deflected the ball out of bounds, but it was last touched by Judge. A Tom Keenan bucket and a pair of Mike Ross free throws tied the game at 45 and sent it into overtime. All of McDevitts 4th quarter points came from the foul line. Judge struck first in OT when Gloweinka hit a trey. The teams battled back and forth until Joe Swoyer hit a big time three from the corner to put McDevitt up 51-50 and give them the lead for good. After a big defensive stop, Ross was fouled and missed both of his free throws but got his own rebound after the second. He was again fouled upon regaining possession and made both of his next two free throws to secure the upset. Fr. Judge finally learned some respect and knelt down before their superior, Bishop McDevitt.
Player of the Game: Greg Stitt. I was going to give it to Mike Ross but Stitt gave me one of the 15 hot dogs he had smuggled after the game. Sorry Ross, I can be easily bought.
Hecklers of the Game: Tyrone Holt & Mark Tipson
Student Reporter of the Game: Sean Woods.
*Kudos to the Hockey team on their big upset. They are also last in their division but tied the 3rd place team 7-7.
McDevitt 61, North 53
There are certain historic events that people remember clearly years after they have taken place. Ask someone where they were when we landed on the moon, when JFK was shot, or on September 11th and they can describe what happened in vivid detail. Such an event happened this weekend that will stay with me forever. I am not talking about McDevitts first win of the 2003 league season. I had planned on attending this game because I was impressed with the way the Lancers played against LaSalle, and knew they would have a good chance of winning today. Unfortunately, an accident last night left me without a car and I could not get out of work in time to catch the game. But as I was walking into my house I turned around to see Catholic League legend Mark Shark Finley and his dad stop to yell the good news to me. Finley informed me that PG Chris Palmero had a terrific game and that they had won by approximately 15 but he had to leave early to return to college. I was motivated to write a report and find out more about the game so I proceeded to ask McD Student Joe DiCondina, Palmeros biggest fan, all about the game. He enlightened me, explaining that it was a close game until the 4th quarter, when Palmero conquered three-point land and could not be stopped.
I was very curious to see if McDevitt used the run and gun offense that has not been as successful as it was in the preseason. With as many offensive weapons as McDevitt has, I can understand how a run 'n gun might be useful, but my earlier criticism of Head Coach Jack Rutter was that he allowed too many bad shots and kept using a failing system for too long. I guess this makes me a fair-weather fan, but I am happy to see that he changed offenses because McDevitt IS capable of matching up with other teams. Palmero is a quality ball-handler and has unlimited 3-point range, so. SG Greg Stitt is a dangerous playmaker, and sr WG Chris Hanes is a terrific jump shooter that can score at will when he is hot. Down low, C Mike Ross has agile moves for a big man and requires 2-3 opposing Forwards to stop him from finding a path to the net, while soph. Andrew Crawford is a one-man swat house. With capable subs like Kyle Reese, Bradley Tucker, Steve Merlini and the approaching return of starter Brendan Donahue, The second half of the season should be much better than the first. A style that allows every member to play their game will be much more beneficial than one that favors the shooters.
In desperate need of more stats, I decided to look to the man in charge, Jack Rutter himself. After proving that I was not trying to set him up, I was able to obtain some information on the game from the surprisingly taciturn Rutter. Rutter told me of the final score (he was off by one point) and that Chris P had 6 threes and a deuce for 20 points, Ross had 17pts, Hanes and Stitt were solid, and that everybody, even Kyle Reese played steady. He also explained his new offensive system.
Here is the new deal, we still want to run if we can a good shot every 5 seconds but if we dont get a good look we hold it until we get one, even if it might take 2 minutes. It may seem a little off the wall but what the HECK.
Hey whatever works! While McDevitt seems to be improving, the North team they faced is moribund. For various reasons, their roster is extremely depleted. Because of the lack of subs, North can no longer use their running offense that they used to beat McDevitt in the teams earlier meeting this season. Instead, there offense featured a lot of pick n rolls, and back-door screens. With 1:10 left in the game the Lancers were up by 15 and the game was over. North cut the lead with garbage baskets from subs including a 35 foot bomb at the buzzer. Besides Palmero, Mike Ross looked especially dominant and had 2 AMAZING dunks. The first came after the ball was being tipped in the air in a fight for the rebound. Ross jumped up and slammed it down with authority. After his second dunk the officials rewarded him with a technical because the whistled had blown prior to his jam. Ive been talking a lot about McDevitts offense but I recently stumbled upon a stat that suggests that the teams troubles are coming from the other end of the court. McDevitts total scoring is second only to 1st place Dougherty while their defense is by far the worst in the league in points allowed. Rutter hopes that the scaled down version of his running offense will help to give his players more time to get back in transition and will let them be more relaxed, instead of making hurried and costly decisions on defense. He also predicts victory next week against Judge and encourages the Krazy Korner and the Abyss to come out to see a great game.
*** I also got to talk to Junior Forward Brendan The Irish Sensation Donahue about his return to the line up. He is currently serving a 60-day suspension from all extracurricular activities (long story -- it seems like its always the nicest kids that never cause any trouble that get caught.) He expects to be back in the starting line-up; and with the team going 2-15 without him, he doesnt see he wouldnt be starting. Brendan will make his triumphant return to the hardwood on February 14th when the Lancers play host to the Conwell-Egan Eagles.
Heres an Intelligent Thought: No Basketball team can be successful without an Irishman. Imagine basketball without such great Irish names as McGrady, ONeal, McKie and Pierce. Maybe Donahues absence is the reason for McDevitts disappointing season.
Player of the Game: Chris Palmero
Reporter of the Game: This would not be possible without the combined efforts of Mark Finley, Joe DiCondina, and Jack Rutter. Thanks to all, but the award goes to me, Sean Woods.
La Salle 79, McDevitt 53
Youve got to love the geniuses that schedule these games. For years the bitter rivalry between McDevitt and LaSalle led to big fights after the games so they changed the time of tip off from 7:30 to 8 to try to prevent it. Since Ive been at McDevitt there has never been a real fight between the schools and Im sure its because of the time change.
Fortunately the delay worked to my advantage because it allowed me to see some competitive McDevitt Basketball for the first time this season. Although the JV Lancers lost in overtime, I was just happy to see a good game. It proved to be the first of 4 great contests tonight. The varsity game looked as though McDevitt would be easily dominated as usual but Lancer fans were pleasantly surprised. The first quarter came and went as expected with the LaSalle Explorers jumping on top and holding a comfortable lead. McDevitt fans saw their first opportunity to win something when LaSalle student Neil Griffiths walked into the gym. Neil is a good friend of many McDevitt students and was faced with the decision of which side to sit on. He stood in the middle while both sides fought over him. Krazy Korner members were so involved with the chanting battles that they almost failed to notice McDevitts strong comeback in the 2nd. Sophomore guard Greg Stitt was on fire with 15 first half points including a few Iversonesque floating layups that kissed high off the glass. One of these came with 3:35 left in the half that put McDevitt up 31-29. McDevitt made some impressive defensive stops to hang onto the lead and head into halftime up 33-32. In the 3rd McDevitt could not find an answer for sr. Center Will Furey of LaSalle. Furey is an Oaf but is hard to match it up with. He is a Beast that racks up points and even though it doesnt look pretty, he gets the job done. Jr. guards Ryan Kirk (9 pts.) and Chris Reedman (8 points) were also very effective, but the bane of McDevitts hopes of victory was small forward Kevin Moll. Moll had 16 points that all seemed to come out of nowhere. He furtively got open under the net for easy lay-ins and outside for quick jump shots. This game was the most disciplined that Ive seen the Lancers play in a long time. Sr. WG Chris Hanes managed 18 points without shooting the lights out and C Mike Ross had 11. Ross needs to be patient and give the ball up to his guards more often. He sometimes thinks hes a point guard and tries spin moves and crossovers at the top of the key, but his place is on the box. The team made smarter decisions on offense and even played some defense. If they were more consistent and played that way all game they would have gotten their first Catholic League win of the season.
The chanting between fans was an intense war that was won by the Krazy Korner. Students took advantage of the fact that the administration was not there and no one could stop them, but unfortunately I cannot repeat most of the cheers here. One chant I can mention was when we called one La Salle kid Jared from Subway. There were also a lot of random movie and TV lines being shouted and songs being sung. Whenever La Salle started any chants the Korner made noise to drown them out and chanted We cant hear you.
Player of the Game: John Creed (A fellow St. Alphonsus Alligator)
Ryan 75, McDevitt 51
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. If so, I'm sure everyone is drooling over this, the latest submission of Knock on Woods. Unfortunately I haven't had any good news to report with the attempt to disband the Krazy Korner and McDevitt's continuing woes on the court. Krazy Korner members decided to boycott the games, and tonight I chose to be a scab. After Ted questioned my whereabouts at the Wood game, I decided it was time to return to the scene. I was so serious that I went out and bought a scorebook for tonight's game, but unfortunately the game was soooo boring that I dozed off a few times and missed some stats. As expected, The Archbishop Ryan Raiders destroyed the Listless Lancers with little effort. McDevitt coach Jack Rutter decided to give his Run and Gun offense a rest and try to play big. He started only Centers and Forwards and kept Guards Chris Palmero and Greg Stitt on the bench until late in the 1st. Ryan had some very skilled players. Jr. SG Jim Welsh has mad skillz. He had 5 FGs and 6 treys for 28 points. Freshman Point Guard Joe Zeglinski (14 pts.) shows a lot of promise and Jr. Joe Mullin (17 pts.) is an exciting and colorful player that is effective anywhere on the court. For McDevitt sr. Forwards Chris Hanes (15 pts.) and Mike Ross (17 pts) had solid games, and improved on their shot selection. They were a combined 11 for 14 from the stripe, which is remarkable for McD. Hanes still isn't the explosive scorer and Ross isn't the low-post force they were expected to be at the start of the season. McDevitt sent just one player to the line all game while Ryan had 18 team fouls. I wish I could say that the lack of fouls was due to smart defense and good plays, but it was really just because of a shortage of effort and uncontested shots. The game was very boring. The only moment of excitement came in the 4th, when Jr. Center Mike "The Enforcer" Kelly made a surprise and rare field goal. At Halftime Fr. Bill played the melancholy Rolling Stones great, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and it felt like we had already lost the game. What McDevitt needs badly is a win, but they still haven't gotten one.
Player of the Game: Jim Welsh
Krazy Korner Chanter: There was no Korner tonight but mark your calendars for January 31, when the Krazy Korner will make a visit to Wyndmoor and destroy La Salle. (The LaSalle fans that is. There is no hope for the game.)
Student Reporter: Sean Woods. It's pretty sad if you can fall asleep and still win this award.
North Catholic 58, McDevitt 54
Many people claim to be diehard fans, but how many have actually risked there life for their team? After tonight I can honestly say that I have.
Tonight was McDevitts first away game in League play, and although the Krazy Korner would not be in attendance, I felt it was my duty to go. I had no idea how to get to North, and instead of following the team bus, I followed Head Coach Jack Rutter. Its no secret that Mr. Rutter is not a fan of my work and tonight he let me know. Rutter, a former Philly Cop, drove the entire way there without ever using a turn signal, ran every red light he came to, and made outrageously risky turns in attempt to lose me or even kill me - whatever it took to ensure that I was not at the game (big smile; just kidding). Undaunted by these life-threatening obstructions, I was determined to expose the truth about McDevitt Basketball.
I expected tonights game to be an even matchup between a struggling McDevitt team and a revamped North. McDevitt was coming off a big loss to rival La Salle (which I did not get to report on thanks to Teds timely decision to temporarily stop the site), while North defeated Conwell-Egan in their opener. The Lancers would be without one of their key starters, Sr. Center Mike Ross, who was benched due to events that took place in practice earlier this week. Taking his place was Jr. Forward Kyle Reese. The game was played in McDevitts favorite style: Run and Gun. Despite unremitting fast breaks, the scored was 8-4 at the end of the 1st because of missed layups, bad shots and some nice blocks by McDevitt jr. Andrew Crawford. The scoring got underway in the second as NC sr. Brian Welte (21 points) got the Falcons going. Welte was the skinniest guy on the court but was fearless in the lane and made some beautiful outside shots. He was also perfect from the Foul Line. McDevitt sr. WG Chris Hanes (20 pts) found his touch that he seemed to have lost in recent games and sophomore guard Greg Stitt (21 pts) made some great drives to the hole. Stitt is very athletic and has incredible moves, but struggles with free throws. He is still growing and will definitely be an exciting PG in the future. At the half North was up 45-38. All of McDevitt's attempts to tie the game up were prevented by some bad officiating. They refs constantly called ticky-tack fouls against McDevitt, which led to Crawfords departure with 6:12 left in the 3rd. They also failed to do anything about North traveling on almost every one of their possessions. Senior forwards Charlie Evans and Football stand out Brian Mitchell were clutch down the stretch. The controlled the boards late in the game and dominated the baseline. On the final play of the game, Evans was fouled by Stitt (his 5th personal) and sent to the line where he nailed both free throws to seal the deal for North.
Player of the Game: Brian Welte
KK Chanter of the Game: This wont really count since the Krazy Korner wasnt there, but because I was the only McDevitt Fan there Im going to give it to myself.
Student Reporter of the Game: Although this is also going to me I want to take this opportunity to apologize to Ryan's Dan LePera. Now that ITs are gone there is no place to express opinions but I wanted to say that after reading over my column I found that my criticism of his work was an unfair and weak attempt at humor based only on selfishness. I have to respect every Student Reporter, because it is not an easy job to do.
Gtn. Academy 96, McDevitt 51
Friday the 13th. Stormy night. The stage was set for strange things to happen, and hopefully an upset from Bishop McDevitt over the Patriots of Germantown Academy. Unfortunately the only scary thing was McDevitts attempt to compete with a good team. At the beginning of the game it seemed as though the game might be a defensive struggle, because after at least six changes of possession neither team had scored. GAs Joe Gill broke the ice with a long three that put his team in the lead for the rest of the game. The game featured sophomore guard Greg Stitts first start for McD. He exhibited good ball handling skills and some nice shots, but his inexperience was obvious. For the second game in a row senior Chris Hanes (3 points) had little success finding the net and Mike Ross (12 points) was the only bright spot. If these two could form some chemistry they would be dangerous. While I was writing down the rosters during the JV game, I was surprised to see that their starting point guard was sophomore Kirk Jones (2 points), who is another product (the other being myself) of St. Alphonsus, the best CYO basketball program in the Archdiocese. I would never say that a former St. As player was a non-factor, and although he failed to score a field goal, I am going to say that he is the main reason for GAs success. The low post was owned by GAs tandem of #42 Ryan Ayers (Game high 25 points) and #44 Brian Grimes (20 pts.) They controlled the baseline with ease and were uncontested there until the 2nd quarter when jr. Mike The Enforcer Kelly was put in the game. Kelly is 65 and is a solid rebounder and shot blocker, but isnt much of a scoring threat. He did a nice job cleaning the glass and deflecting inside passes, but Grimes and Ayers were more than he could handle. At halftime GA led 46-26. One play that was a true microcosm of McDevitts struggles came with under a minute left in the game. McDevitt fans started a fake countdown in attempt to make a GA player throw up a last-second desperation shot. GA forward #40 Andrew Ott fell for it and threw up an ugly half court shot. McDevitts quick explosion of laughter was immediately diffused as the ball swished through the net, and GA had all the laughs.
You didnt think I was going to finish a report without mentioning the Krazy Korner, did you? Of course not. In my opinion, The Krazy Korners performance tonight was the worst so far this season. Not to say it was bad, because the KK doesnt have off nights. We were not as consistent with our Booo chant or Shockers, and not many people brought their cowbells, but we still destroyed our opponent. We hit GAs fan section leader with chants of Deported, 7-11, Back to Iraq and Wheres your Turban? Their fans responded to that one with, Wheres your cowbells? Mike Haggerty quickly retorted: Around your moms neck! The refs were horrible; Keith Hernandez and wee man made a lot of horrible calls. The Korner had a special guest this evening. Assistant principal and president of Academic Affairs, Mr. Albert C. Achuff, was in the midst of the Krazy Korner madness to make sure it didnt get out of control. Also in attendance but not in the KK were Todd Nally, Mike Welsh, Brian OMeara, Mark the Shark Finley (St. As), and TATE. We chanted to TATE, Oreland is Trash. And he yelled, I own all of you from the opposite side of the court.
Player of the Game: Kirk Jones, GA (because he went to St. Alphonsus)
KK Chanter: Defending Champion John Reily Runners up: Both Haggses
(Always the toughest to choose. Reily was determined to defend his position and started great chants such as E-A-G-L-E-S, and GOOOOAAAAAAL after Steve Merlini scored. But the one that secured the seat for him was when he yelled out Shooters gonna choke Happy, the gold jacket is yours. Well Done! Haggerty was heckling once again, but wasnt as creative as last time, and had a few really weak attempts.)
Student Reporter: Also defending champion, Sean Woods.
Legendary Accomplishment: Not only did the Krazy Korner own the opposing fans, we also owned our own cheerleaders. Every time they started to cheer, we made a lot of noise to drown them out. They were so hurt by this that they left during a timeout in the 3rd. We were ready to chant "Tears on my pom-poms" when they returend; but they never did.
Lansdale Catholic 79, McDevitt 52
The Lancers of Bishop McDevitt came into this game without a loss and knew that tonight would be their first real test. They would be defending their perfect record against the Lansdale Catholic Crusaders. The Krazy Korner was especially fired up for this one, and looked better than ever sporting their new official KK t-shirts. These yellow beauties read Rutter 3:16 on the front and Take it to the Hole on the back, complete with a picture of the Shocker. Besides finally having some real competition in the game, the Korner was also faced with an opponent for the first time this year. McDevitt fans had no problem shutting down Lansdale, but the same could not be said of McDevitts players.
The Lancers last home game featured a record-breaking performance by sr. Chris Hanes and he was expected to provide more of the same magic tonight. We chanted MVP when his name was called during introductions, but never got to chant it again. He did not make a field goal the entire first half and finished with just 6 points. He tried to get the team up and be the vocal leader, but he could not get into a groove of his own. The only player that could get anything going was sr. Center Mike Ross, who scored 32 points, controlled the boards and had a few nice blocks. Lansdale was lead by #34 Mike McGowan, who scored 20 and was the recipient of the KKs boo chant. He headed a well-balanced attack of players who all looked a like and played similarly. Chris Podsobinski and Vince Sobocinski also played well and had 12 and 17 points, respectively. Lansdale doesnt have any prolific scorers or big playmakers that dazzle crowds, they just get the job done by hitting open shots and making smart passes. This game featured, by McDevitt, some of the worst shot selecting that I have ever seen. LC did not have better players than McD, but they cruised to victory. The Krazy Korner even stopped using their cowbells, and took off their new shirts in hopes that it would have an effect on the game, but our attempts were futile. The game itself is too disappointing to talk about anymore so Ill move on to the one thing that McDevitt Basketball has left to be proud of, The Krazy Korner. We tormented one ref, Carl Winslow for looking like the dad on Family Matters and chanted, Where is Erkel? At one point McDevitt jr. Kyle Reese stopped to look for a contact lens on the court, and KK member Mike Haggerty yelled out Is it the refs? The LC fans, especially the girls, were easy targets. We joked that we should return our bells to the LC girls because they were all cows. Their team lacked, ahem, diversity so the Krazy Korner chanted, Weve got soul. The Korner started the Laugh, where we break into outrageous laughter for no reason whatsoever. My personal favorite chant was one that we reserve for soph PG Steve Merlini. He looks Spanish, Mexican, or some kind or Hispanic, so we chant Ole, Ole (the world cup soccer song) and jump up and down when he gets into the game.
Player of the Game: Mike Ross
Krazy Korner Chanter: John Reily Runner Up: Mike Haggerty
(This was a tough one to choose. Many potential candidates were disqualified for leaving early. Although I understand their frustration, I felt the award had to go to someone that stuck with the team to the end and gave full support. The award was then going to go to Haggs, who was extremely bold and did a lot of heckling on his own. But with seven seconds left in the game, he too suggested that we should all leave. Bad move. So tonights winner is Reily, who did great chanting throughout the game and rightfully deserves the award.)
Student Reporter of The Game: Dan LePera. I am Of Course kidding; It goes to me, Sean Woods. LePera ----.
-- I am not a fan of Dans Post-up. No one cares about Ryan, his reports are bad and are not entertaining. He does not deserve to be anywhere near Silary legends such as Huck, Amar, Duck and myself.
-- I hope everyone is ok and not too depressed about not getting a new Knock on Woods article in over a week. Im sure some people thought I would turn out to be like Kierans Kollege Kommentary or one of those idiot Prep kids from last year who would write 1 or 2 reports and give up. Ted, thats what happens when you let anyone who feels like getting a column (LePera) get one.
-- McDevitt coach Jack Rutter shaved his mustache and now kind of looks like a duck.
-- The Krazy Korner is indubitably the greatest fan section in all of High School Basketball.
-- Kristen Silary looks really really good with blonde hair. How old is she? Ted, Whats her #? (sophomore, no number -- smile)
-- Fr. Bill Chiriaco's Music selection was stellar as usual.
McDevitt 120, Wyncote Academy 59
Wow. So much to talk about. Julie Andrews once said in the Sound of Music, Lets start at the very beginning, its a very fine place to start. Keeping that in mind, Ill begin with this morning. I arrived at school late as usual, but was excused thanks to a brilliant last-second story I made up. When I got to homeroom I was informed that Mr. Rutter, our disciplinarian, requested my presence in his office. I knew immediately what it was about. I walked into his office to find Football Coach Pat Manzi going on a diatribe to my fellow Krazy Korner members Mike Haggerty, Andrew Kovach, John Maha, Dave Fat Tony Reale, John Reily, and Brian Roondawg Rooney. I couldnt help but laugh as we were chastised for our behavior at yesterdays game. We had heard that we were mentioned on talk radio 1210, and because of the attention that Roman was receiving for their inappropriate actions, we could not continue our disrespectful chants. When Manzi was done, Rutter felt he had to put his two cents in and give a philippic (vocab word) of his own. He told us that we could not target specific players, chant teachers names, curse, and to pretty much stop chanting. We were not going to be disobedient, but this made us want to be even Krazier. Now to the game. McDevitt looked sharp warming up, especially in their new home yellow jerseys. In the stands the Krazy Korner had a fever, and the only prescription was more cowbell. Our kicker B.J. McHugh made himself useful by providing us with these cowbells. These were not the kind used in percussion, but were actual cowbells with the ringing thing still inside. The din caused by all of the cowbells was deafening and we almost overdosed our Rx. This prompted us to Chant. I have a headache! McDevitt started the game with a series of threes from Chris Palmero and Chris Hanes. Wyncote did not seem as bad as Mercy but they could not keep up with a hot McDevitt team. Wyncote forward Femi Kasali scored 31 of his teams 59 points and had some great low post moves. He was by far their best player, but was humbled after every basket by having the Korner remind him that his name was Femi. Andrew Wesler had a pretty good game but was a little too decorated with a headband, high socks and a bright shirt, so he was a perfect fit for our infamous Boo chant. Wyncotes SG Andre Ciceron was the games Spaz and their PG Carnell Robinson was short, so we chanted Hes a midget whenever he got the ball. At the end of the 1st half McD was up 68-41 and Chris Hanes was on fire with 35 points. We were notified that the McD record was 51 points in one game and he was on pace to break it. We decided to be nice to our cheerleaders and not boo their halftime show, but after they were done we chanted The Krazy Korners Better. In the Second half we kept a countdown for the team to get 100 points and Hanes to get 52. He had 42 when the entire Wyncote team had 41. McD center Mike Ross showed us all he could dunk by doing so thrice. After one of the dunks Fred Hanes, Chriss brother and our short-lived D-line coach, yelled There you go! from the other side of the court. We then mocked him by chanting There you go in the same manner that he said it. McDevitt and Hanes both reached their milestones and the Krazy Korner was ecstatic. Wyncote only scored 18 points in the second half despite playing offense against 4 subs. Hanes cherry picked the entire 4th quarter. After the game we ran onto the court and carried him off. I had the great privilege of holding his left foot.
Player of the Game: Chris Hanes -- school record 52 points
Krazy Korner Chanter: John Maha Runner-up: Pat Hagarty
(Winner of this category will occupy the coveted Korner seat at the next game)
Student Reporter of the Game: Sean Woods
-All these honors were well deserved, especially me (smile). Although I was unopposed, I was faced with the impossible task of taking notes and being a full time Krazy Korner member. I tried to find a middle ground between the styles of TATE and that idiot Madera. My stats werent perfect and I could only do Shockers with one hand but by the end of the season I will have perfected chanting and reporting.
*Special thanks to Dave Reale for letting me borrow his pen and notebook (which I still have).
NOTE FROM TED: Hanes' outburst is No. 2 ever by a CL player behind 58 by Dougherty's Shawn Newman in Dec. 1990.
McDevitt's Bob Haas still holds the CL record in league play with 51 vs. Ryan in 1968.
McDevitt 106, Mercy 61
Mercy Tech did the impossible tonight by making Mcdevitt Head Coach Jack Rutter look like a genius. OK thats a stretch; they made him look like capable basketball coach, which is still quite an accomplishment (smile). Although undersized compared to McDevitt, Mercy won the tip and scored first. McDevitt answered back by going on an 18-0 run and it was all McD from then on. Unfortunately I did not have team rosters or a pen or paper in my debut as Krazy Korner Korrespondent, so my first report might be reminiscent of a Tenacious Tate article. McDevitt PG Chris Palmero had a superb game and most likely had a trip double. He drained threes, made great no-look assists, and dove for steals all game. Late in the third quarter he went down like an Eagles QB with a long, painful injury that sidelined him for the rest of the game. While trainers ran to help him, the Krazy Korner all sat down and prayed a loud Hail Mary and Our Father for him. It was beautiful. McDevitt has two key returning players from last year in sr.s Mike Ross and Chris Hanes, who both had good games. The other starters are Andrew "Moss" Crawford and Brendan Donahue, "The Irish Sensation". Palmero is the obvious point guard, while the other four all look like forwards. For Mercy no one really played well. Their PG freaked out after a foul early on so, for the rest of the game he went by "Spaz". Their center was a big Shaq-looking fellow who was bad at free throws so we called him Shaq, and their SF had hair like Sprewell so that was his name. He also perfected his choking skills by constantly missing wide-open shots. The game had no real defense and Mercy probably wouldnt have had as many points as they did if McDevitt didnt condescend to playing street D. McDevitt soph Steve Merlini came in for Palmero and scored the big 100th point, which provoked Krazy Korner members to rush the court while the game was still going on. The Krazy Korner had a great turnout for a first game and the chanting was excellent. Some of the KKs cheers included Jumpin Jack Rutter, Blowout, Shocker or Bogart (for foul shots), Hes a freshman (We borrowed this one from Wood and used it for our Freshman Tom Maha) and the ever-popular Boo. McDevitt also broke in their new Dasani scoreboard nicely by getting into triple digits. Dasani. Treat Yourself Well. Everyday. The coaches also sported new looks. Rutter has given up and stopped dying his hair red. Love the natural white hair. The assistant coaches, including new coach Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, all had shaved heads. They looked ridiculous.
Player of the Game: Chris Palmero
KK Chanter of the Game: Andrew Kovach
Student Reporter of the Game: Sean Woods
Congratulations to the Winners.