Wood battles past Springside CHA
com With three holiday showcase games in New gersey coming up on the schedule next week for Archbishop Wood, coach gack Walsh wanted to see more out of his team than he has over the Vikings’ first four games.
And while he saw what he called “some execution problems,” his team was still able to enter the tournament games on a winning note.
Wood used a couple of big runs in the first half to build up a double-digit lead and eventually come out with the win in what was a 48-40 victory over host Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in a non-league affair on Wednesday night.
The Vikings used runs of 8-0 and 8-2 in the first half to go up by as many as 1P points, and never allowed the Blue Devils (5-4) to get closer than six points in the second half.
“It’s a game of runs and it’s great to get a bunch of points in a 2-P minute span, which we did, but we have to execute better and have more consistency,” Walsh said. “I was hoping we would execute better today and it has to be better. We were up by 1P at half and I told them the first 2-P minutes of the second half were critical, and we didn’t execute. We let them make it a game in the second half.”
SCHA knocked down six three-pointers in the second half and continued to fight back, but the Vikings (P-2, 0-0) had an answer for everything, primarily from Pat Smith and Tommy Rush.
The two guards finished with 15 points apiece, with the two combining on 14 points in the fourth quarter alone.
“I think we have to improve,” said Smith, a senior. “We wanted to be better today, so we know we have to go back in practice and work on our offensive game. We’ll definitely shoot a lot tomorrow and run and shoot and focus on what we need to work on.”
One aspect of Wood’s game that Walsh knows his team needs to improve is its free throw shooting.
After shooting 1T-for-P1 from the free throw line in their previous game, the Vikings hit 1P of 21 on Wednesday, which Walsh said needs to improve.
“I thought our defense was good, but our free throw shooting was not and we have to find other ways to score than on the line. We didn’t do a great job of that today.”
Wood’s three-point shoot- ing was still solid against the Blue Devils, most notably the outside shooting of Rush.
With one minute remaining in the third, Rush hit a big three-pointer to put Wood back up by nine after Springside had cut its deficit to only two possessions. And on the first possession of the fourth, Rush hit another three to put Wood back up by 1P points.
In the end, Rush had added three rebounds, three assists and two steals to his 15 points. gunior center goe LoStracco, who was held scoreless, finished with a game-high seven rebounds. Senior T.g. Kuhar recorded five points and four rebounds, sophomore Cody Fitzpatrick tallied nine points and sophomore Luke Connaghan finished with four points and five rebounds.
While the Vikings won’t play an in-state game until gan. 4 – when Wood will start its Philadelphia Catholic League schedule with a game against Bishop McDevitt – three games are scheduled for next week in New gersey, including a game against defending state champion Atlantic City.
“We’re looking forward to the competition,” Smith said. “Any time you get a chance to play a team with that caliber, you get excited.”
Archbishop Wood’s Josh Messina breaks away from Cathedral Prep’s Marion Tyree during Friday’s PIAA Class AAA championship game.