2005-02-04 / Sports

Wood Powers McClancy Win In Crotty Classic

By Denis Gorman

If Sunday’s Tom Crotty Memorial Tournament was Stephen Wood’s formal introduction to St. John’s University, we may have the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Wood, a 6’4 junior at Monsignor McClancy, scored 24 points in McClancy’s 53-33 win over Bishop Ford, at Lou Carnesecca Court, along with displaying his splendid all-around game (five rebounds, three blocks and an assist).

The Crusaders’ star started the game in the frontcourt, due to a teammate’s illness. All Wood did was shut down Bishop Ford’s big men, grab rebounds and draw defenses to him, allowing his teammates open shots.

In the second half, McClancy coach Don Kent, worried about his star’s fouls (three), moved him to the backcourt from where he dominated the game.

Last week, Kent spoke glowingly about his star guard, who leads the CHSAA ‘A’ division in scoring at 23.6 points per game, and who earlier this season became McClancy player in the Kent era to score 50 points in a single game. “God willing, by the time Stephen graduates, he’ll be a 1,000 point scorer. He’s very skilled. He plays both ends of the court; has a good shot, a good three point shot.”

Bishop Ford learned that the hard way. Up five in the fourth, McClancy went on a 16-0 run that ended the game for all intensive purposes. Wood scored 11 of McClancy’s 16 points, including a dunk and two threes.

“It was the dunk, the dunk,” said Wood, emphatically, when asked about when he knew the game was over. “It turned me on, it woke me up. I knew I had to keep it going.”

St. John’s and Fordham are recruiting him, a fact that the probable ‘A’ South Division Player of the Year knows. He also knew that Carnesecca Court was the perfect place to showcase his all-around game.

“It was very exciting (to play at St. John’s),” Wood said. “Earlier in the season, we got to play at Wake Forest, at a Christmas tournament, that was exciting.” Wood later said that he goes as many St. John’s and Fordham games as he can.

With four games remaining in the regular season, McClancy has 13 wins and -most likely-a spot in the ‘A’ Division playoffs, which makes Wood very happy. “It feels real good. Last year, as a sophomore, we were losing a lot. We only won nine games last year. Now, we have 13. “I’m trying to win a championship. That’s the exclamation point to the season.”

Tom Crotty Notes

St. John’s Men’s Basketball Coach Norm Roberts was at Carnesecca Court on Sunday watching all seven games on the day.

When asked if he was recruiting some of the young talent on display, Roberts laughed and said, “Always recruiting.”

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