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Eagles Pull Away In Fourth Behind Raysor And Isaac, 61-52
By Greg Machos
December 27, 2009
HILLSIDE, NJ--Early on in the fourth quarter, it looked like Cardinal McCarrick was in danger of losing against Orange. After going ahead 42-38 at the 6:52 mark on a floater and a layup and a foul by sophomore guard, Dana Raysor, the Eagles squandered some fine teamwork on missed layups by John Appiah and Mo Isaac while the Tornadoes climbed within three at 45-42 with 4:47 left. However, senior guard, Craig Thomas came up with a huge defensive play by drawing a charge, and that sparked a decisive 14-4 tear for a 59-46 McCarrick lead and eventual 61-52 victory in the first day of action at the 2009 Joe Silver Holiday Tournament at Hillside High School.
Raysor, a transfer from St. Patrick's, came up with eight field goals, four three pointers, and two free throws for a game high 30 points while Isaac added 20 points on nine field goals and two free throws in the victory. Thomas ended up with four points on two field goals while Jumanne McDaniel picked up five points on two field goals and a foul shot, and Jeremy Cruz rounded out the rest of the Eagle scoring with two points on a field goal. Lance Rhoden led Orange with 17 points while Reuben Narcisse chipped in with 11 points. The Tornadoes made 18 field goals, 3 treys, and 7 free throws while the Eagles connected on 22 field goals, 4 threes, and five foul shots.
Both teams won two quarters, but McCarrick won theirs by bigger margins including a 21-17 effort in the second, and a 23-15 showing in the fourth. Orange took a 10-7 lead with a minute to go in the first before Isaac drew a foul at the 31.8 second mark that produced one of two from the line for a 10-8 Tornadoes advantage heading into the second. The Eagles had a chance to tie after getting a loose ball and calling timeout with 27.4 seconds to play in the opening frame, but failed to capitalize. However, in the second, Cardy Mac got the lion's share of 38 points scored to take a two point lead into the locker room at halftime.
McDaniel opened up the scoring in the second with an offensive rebound and follow off a missed jumper by Isaac at the 7:33 mark for a 10-10 tie. Orange was then cited for traveling, and the Eagles took advantage with a score for the lead before the Tornadoes tied it at 12-12 on a field goal at the 6:34 mark. Orange, which competes in the Super Essex Conference, had a chance to take the lead, but Thomas drew a charge at the 6:00 mark, and then Charlie Gorman grabbed the rebound off a missed shot, and pass upcourt to Isaac for a dunk, and a 14-12 McCarrick lead with 4:46 to go in the half.
The Tornadoes responded with perhaps their best run of the game on seven straight points over a span of just 39 seconds including a three pointer at the 4:07 mark for a 19-14 lead. Raysor then netted two free throws to pull the Eagles within three at 19-16 with 3:51 to go in the half, but Orange came back with four of the next six points including a steal off Raysor for a floater, and a 23-18 lead at the 2:52 mark. Orange had a chance to go up even further, but missed the front end of a one and one, and then was called for an over the back with 2:36 left before the intermission. The Eagles then broke the Tornadoes pressure on an ensuing possession as Thomas passed to Isaac for a foul line jumper to close the gap to 23-20 at the 2:20 mark.
Orange then made one of two from the line at the 1:54 mark for a 24-20 lead before McDaniel passed to Isaac for a layup that drew the Eagles within two again at 24-22 with 1:36 left in the half. Orange then got a jumper from the left corner over the outstretched hand of Isaac, and then a one of two showing at the foul line for a 27-22 lead with a minute to go in the half. Raysor then sank a short baseline jumper from the right side at the 50.1 second mark, and a three pointer from the left side at the 20.3 second mark before Isaac swiped a steal and passed to Raysor, who made a nice touch on the shot as time expired in the first half for a 29-27 lead. The Eagles closed out the half with an 11-4 spurt for the two point edge.
Early on in the third quarter though, it looked as if the Eagles might have some problems as Raysor hobbled off the court at the 7:27 mark. However, it probably was a minor tweak of an ankle because he was back in the game a short time later. Following a 30 second timeout with 6:22 left in the period, Orange knotted the game at 29-29 with a field goal at the 6:01 mark. Moments later though, the Eagles quickly came down the floor for a score as Thomas passed ahead to Cruz for a layup, and a 31-29 edge. Cruz got a hand in another score when he handed an assist on a pull-up jumper in the key by Isaac for a 33-29 lead at the 5:25 mark. Just under a minute later, the Eagles got a loose ball, which eventually got into the hands of Cruz, who dished to Isaac for the layin, and a 35-29 lead with 4:30 left in the third.
After the Tornadoes called a timeout with 4:17 left in the third, the Eagles had a chance to go up even further, but Isaac couldn't handle passes from Raysor and Thomas on back to back possessions before Orange scored a layup at the 3:42 mark for a 35-31 Cardy Mac lead. McDaniel then made a free throw before a lane violation on the second one by the Eagles, and then Thomas lobbed to Isaac off the inbounds underneath for a 9-4 run, and a 38-31 lead with 2:50 to go in the frame. Up to this point, McCarrick had outscored Orange by a 20-8 margin over the last 7:42. However, the Tornadoes closed out the third with a 6-0 burst to pull within one again at 38-37 entering the fourth.
Raysor then started the final period with a floater and then a layup while being fouled in a 4-1 run that put the Eagles on top, 42-38 with 6:52 to go. However, Orange got some breaks as McCarrick failed to score, and pulled to within three before Thomas drew his second charge. Isaac then scored on an offensive rebound and follow off a missed by McDaniel for a 47-42 lead at the 4:22 mark. Despite a blocked shot by Orange on Raysor at the 3:38 mark, the Eagles were able to prevail as the sophomore connected on a three pointer from the left corner off an inbounds play at the 3:35 mark, clicked on a pull-up jumper from the left elbow at the 2:51 mark, and Thomas scored a layup off a steal for a 54-44 lead with 2:36 left.
McDaniel capped the run with a layup for a 59-46 lead before the Tornadoes closed out the scoring with a 6-2 flurry to round out the final 61-52 score. With the victory, Cardinal McCarrick improved to 3-1 on the young season overall and 1-0 in non-conference play. Meanwhile, Orange fell to 0-3 overall. After losing two non-conference games on Saturday, the GMC posted wins over foes outside Middlesex County in both games on Sunday to be 7-7 on the season so far against out of conference opponents.
See details on the first day of action in this tournament in the GMC Hoops Blogosphere.
Cardinal McCarrick (3-1)
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