New Cath Routs Holy Cross, 90-54
Newport Central Catholic had little trouble with Holy Cross at home on Monday night, easily dispatching the Indians 90-54. New Cath is one of the best teams in the region and proved to be too big and too talented for Holy Cross to handle.
The Thoroughbreds showcased three veteran stars that all brought complimentary skills to the table. The most notable of these was senior forward, and NKU signee, Drew McDonald whose size and outside-shooting ability became unstoppable for the Indians to guard during the really only crucial stretch of the game midway through the first quarter when NCC began to open the game up with a sizable lead. McDonald had 15 points at halftime and 19 for the game.
He's a skilled shooter to be sure, and his 6'7'' frame allows him to play smaller or slower players, but if he had to guard a large but quick forward, like Cov Cath's Bo Schuh, for example, he may find it difficult. Nonetheless, Norse head coach Dave Bezold, who attended Monday's game, will make use of his three-point shooting next year on campus.
Another difference-making player for the Breds was forward Ben Weyer, who also showed long-distance range and helped dominate the offensive glass inside. Weyer is an inch or so shorter than McDonald, but has deceptively long arms and a quick first jump. He looked confident knocking down threes from the top of the key, but was often fouled shooting the ball underneath. Weyer had 16 points at the break and when combined with McDonald down low, the tandem had a stark size difference. He finished with 18 for the game.
The third player for New Cath that impressed was point guard Zach Pangallo who has developed into a very sharp player. Pangallo rarely makes mistakes with the ball, has excellent court vision, shoots a reliable outside jump shot, can create on his own and plays scrappy defense. What's not to like? He fed his big men underneath well on the drive and dish passes, made his shots when he was open and limited his turnovers to a non-issue. He made buzzer-beater threes to conclude both the first and second quarters. Pangallo finished with a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds. One could make a case that he is best true point guard in the region.
These three players combined to score 43 of the team's 50 points in the first quarter and were enough to blow out the Indians on their own.
Holy Cross is a small team with streaky shooters; often a tough mixture to trust. Derrick Barnes is a muscular player but not very tall and his moves around the rim look more visceral than skilled. Tyler Bezold is a decent-sized forward that can shoot from deep and the put the ball on the floor, but he can't regularly carry a team during stretches. Their best player on Monday evening was Erich Jakubowski who finished with 10 points and knocked down a trio of threes. Jakubowski is a quality shooter but sticks to that role pretty closely. In the end, they simply could not match up with the firepower of the Breds.
New Cath is now 8-2 on the season and will play crosstown rivals Newport, Tuesday night at home. Holy Cross falls to 7-7 and hosts Lloyd on Wednesday night.
Story & photo by Bryan Burke, associate editor