"Anthony is such a good player,'' said James Wallace. "He understands there's more to the game than scoring, and he knew he was going to help us even if he wasn't scoring the basketball. He's too good of a scorer to go missing shots and missing shots.
"He made the play of the night when he drove the middle and got what we needed to get. There's a reason why he's a four-year letterman and there's a reason why he's a Division I, Division II recruit - not because of his talent but because of his heart, and he showed that today.''
The Irish leaned heavily on their top two returning scorers - all-staters Garret McCarty (22 points) and Nick George (17 points, seven rebounds), who had 12 of the team's 15 goals. Neither made a shot in the fourth quarter, however.
George missed a contested drive with 10 seconds left and McCarty was forced to fire up a deep errant 3 at the buzzer with Wallace defending.
Catholic shot 37.5 percent, was outrebounded 36-25 and had two more turnovers (14-12).
"We have been very fortunate over the years,'' said Irish coach Bill McClanahan, "to have basketball teams that are hard-working and smart and fundamentally sound and unselfish. I was never comfortable that this team fully understands and appreciates those principles, and we saw the result of that - not only in the way the game finished, but in the way the game was played, especially in the fourth quarter. Those are things uncharacteristic of this program, and things we're going to have to fix.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.