CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It has become Garret McCarty's tradition to be the last Charleston Catholic player on the floor for warm-ups, and he stays there until he makes his final shot.
On Friday, his last pregame shot was a lay-up, but once the game started he was deadly from much farther away.
McCarty's five first-quarter 3-pointers allowed the Irish to settle into an effective four-corner offense for the remaining three periods, and by the end of two halves Catholic was celebrating one big 61-52 win over Class A No. 1 Greater Beckley Christian.
A healthy crowd attended the matchup of Class A top-five teams at the Charleston Catholic Athletic Facility.
Catholic's senior point guard drained his first five attempts from distance and scored 15 of his game-high 24 points in the first quarter as the Irish claimed an early lead. He finished 6 of 7 from beyond the arc.
"I make my last shot [in warm-ups], it gets my confidence going, and I came out hot," McCarty said. "I've been shooting the ball really well. I'm going to keep doing what I do before games."
After that initial surge, the Irish were content to spread the floor and patiently work the ball, sometimes up to a minute or a minute and a half at a time until, more often than not, someone got a look at the rim from point-blank range.
Overall it was an impressive showing from No. 5 Catholic (8-2) and one coach Bill McClanahan admitted could loom large moving forward.
"That's a fantastic win because [Greater Beckley has] all the ingredients to compete for a state championship," McClanahan said. "It lets the team know that when they come to practice focused and come to games ready to compete with everything they've got, that they're capable of doing good things."
After McCarty's hot start, he was hit with his second foul late in the first period and was relegated to the bench for much of the second.
But instead of backing off, the Irish surged further ahead, racking up a 16-5 scoring advantage in the quarter. At halftime, Catholic led 35-20.