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February 8, 2013

WC struggles in NK loss

WASHINGTON — Flu season is winding down, but Washington Catholic can’t seem to get over the turnover bug as the Cardinals were defeated by North Knox, 61-39, at the Bird Cage on Thursday.

The Cardinals (2-15. 1-6 Blue Chip) committed 19 turnovers that turned into several easy North Knox (7-12, 3-3) buckets. This is the second time the Blue Chip mates have met. The Warriors defeated WC, 48-35, in the Toyota Classic.

The turnovers, coach John Howell said, were a big reason for the lopsided margin.

“Turnovers really hurt us,” Howell said. “We had 11 at the half, and they scored a lot of points off the turnovers.”

WC had trouble early, unable to get inside on the larger Warriors. Outside shooting also became a problem, and North Knox’s Jordan Meurer had 11 of his 18 points in the first quarter to jump the Warriors out in front, 19-8.

The Cardinals, led by senior Colton Reed, kept up with North Knox in the second. Reed hit four of his team-high 11 points in the second frame. Sophomore Jonathan Mitchell found a three from the corner to keep the Warriors within striking distance.

Howell said the Cardinals had trouble matching up with the Warriors.

“Defense was an issue. We couldn’t find an answer tonight,” Howell said. “We tried man. They got by us. We went zone. We didn’t rebound well.”

WC was able to keep up again after halftime. This time by TJ Hill, who found several transition layups after WC stops on defense. Hill scored five of his nine points in the third.

“When we stop, we can get out and run a little bit,” Howell said. “The problem is offensive rebounds and putbacks. We like to get out and run but in order to do that, you have to get stops on the defensive end.”

North Knox’s Christopher Graman hammered the nails in WC’s coffin in the final stanza with seven of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter. Graman was hot from the field, hitting one three from way deep. While Hill and Reed worked hard for points, they found little.

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