CRC: Lights Not too Bright for Zimmerman, Bishop Gorman
WHEELING – Big stage, no problem for Steve Zimmerman.
The bright lights of ESPN, and a huge crowd, which included Kentucky coach John Calipari and North Carolina coach Roy Williams, none of it phased Zimmerman.
He had 21 points and eight rebounds to lead Bishop Gorman to a 73-60 victory against Villa Angela-St. Joseph Friday in the Cancer Research Classic at Wheeling Jesuit University.
The highly touted 7-footer, and the reason Calipari and Williams were in attendance, said it is par for the course.
“I’ve been fortunate and blessed to be on the varsity squad since my freshman year and I’ve played with Shabazz Muhammad (now with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves) and a lot of other Division I players,” Zimmerman said. “I’m kind of used to it.”
For Villa Angela St. Josephs, it was the first time playing under the bright national lights.
“I’m proud of us,” coach Babe Kwasniak said. “In my former profession, a U.S. Army soldier, you don’t get anything for second place. We aren’t scheduling these games as a mercy case. We’re trying to get better.”
They did fight hard.
Despite being down nine at the half and 11 early in the third, the Vikings went on a 9-0 run that included a 3-pointer by Simon Texidor (21 points), a slam dunk on a runout by Brian Parker (16 points) and a basket by Carlton Bragg as he was falling down (nine points and 14 rebounds) to make it a two-point game.
Still, Bishop Gorman answered with its own run.
“We were able to do that when we needed to, but give them credit, they fought hard,” Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice said. “We were able to answer and our runs came at important times.”
Zimmerman was selected game MVP. Nick Blair added 19 points and nine rebounds, Chase Jeter had 11 points and nine boards and Noah Robatham had 11 points.
Prime Prep Truth 66 (OT)
WHEELING – Elijah Staley hit a basket off a missed free throw to give Wheeler a victory against Prime Prep Truth.
Micah Seaborn had a good look at a potential game-winning 3 at the buzzer but it bounced off the front of the rim.
Game MVP Jaylon Brown had 21 points and eight rebounds to lead Wheeler.
Avery Patterson added 12 and Jerron Love and Staley had 11 each.
Prime Prep was led by Emmanuel Mudiay, one of the nation’s top prep prospects, with 25 points and nine rebounds.
Da’Shawn Williams had 16 points and Terrance Ferguson had 10.
Wheeler Will face No. 1 Monteverde tonight at 7 p.m. in a game which will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.