Wheeling Park Falls in CRC

WHEELING – Wheeling Park had exactly what it wanted.

Two chances.

Unlike the last two outings, victories against George Washington and Vincent Warren, it didn’t get the results it wanted.

The Patriots committed two costly turnovers in the last 26 seconds and fell to Seton-LaSalle 62-58 in the first game of the annual Cancer Research Classic Friday at the McDonough Center at Wheeling Jesuit University.

Wheeling Park (4-2) had a chance to tie or cut into the lead with 26 seconds left when Ryan Reinbeau saw Phil Bledsoe flashing through the lane, but his pass sailed high and out of bounds.

Park got a reprieve, when Christian DelGreco missed the front end of a one-and-one.

However, on the ensuing possession, Elijah Bell slipped on a drive to the basket and was whistled for traveling.

“It’s frustrating because we did have two opportunities,” Wheeling Park coach Michael Jebbia said. “I told the kids that we didn’t necessarily have to have a 3; we could take a two and we’d be OK. It’s a shame because both plays were the right thing to do. It just didn’t work out. The pass just got away from Ryan and Elijah just slipped. It happens. Overall, I was happy. The guys are upset, and they should be. But the last two or three times we’ve played here we were beaten pretty badly. We were in this one until the end.”

They led the game, too, 42-40, after a Bledsoe basket late in the third quarter.

A 7-0 run that ran into the fourth quarter by the Rebels erased that lead, and Park was never able to get it back, although Reinbeau’s 3 (he has all 15 of his team-high 15 points in the second half) made it 55-54 with 1:20 left.

Seton-LaSalle however, cashed in at the foul line and was able to hold off the Patriots.

Park had done everything right, after initially trailing 10-2, getting baskets in transition after turnovers, a lot of that damage done by a 1-3-1 zone the Patriots went to in the second quarter.

“I think it caused us some problems and you have to credit them for that,” Seton-Lasalle coach Mark Walsh said. “We were also our own worst enemy in the second quarter. We had four wide open 3s from the left side that we missed. I think we started to rush some things and a lot of that was what they did on defense.”

Park shot 54.5 percent in the first half, behind the hot shooting of Trenton Smith, who finished with 14 and was the only other Patriot in double figures with Reinbeau.

Park never really went back to the 1-3-1, a mistake for which Jebbia took the blame.

“I probably should have went back to it more in the second half, but I didn’t want to give their shooters any open looks,” Jebbia said. “We probably should have run some more sets to get Phil (Bledsoe) the ball inside. That is my fault.”

Bledsoe finished with nine points and nine rebounds, ending his double-double streak at four games.

Point guard Dale Clancy was the game MVP, after finishing with 16 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Ryan Norkus led the Rebels (9-0) with 17, Malik White had 14 and DelGreco had 11.

“They had some guys, DelGreco especially, who didn’t take many shots in the game we scouted,” Jebbia said. “They certainly stepped up when they had to. We will get better because of this game.”

“When we needed our senior to step up, Dale did it again,” Walsh said. “But we had a lot of kids step up tonight. It was a good win for us.”

Toddy Goodwin-Rowe added nine points for Park, which plays at John Marshall on Tuesday.