Catholic junior point guard Garret McCarty and senior forward Zach Casto had the only statistical positives for the Irish. McCarty had all seven of his team's steals, which led all players. Casto - who had 29 points Tuesday night at Buffalo - was held to seven against Tug, but had 10 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end.
George led the Irish with 10 points, but the junior center did not have a rebound until 1:30 remained in the third quarter. Catholic shot just 28.2 percent, and Tug won the battle of the boards, 34-26, a number that was skewed in Catholic's favor by mass substitutions made by both teams with 2:33 left in the game.
"All three of our losses have been to teams that have played us physical: Poca, Tucker County and Tug," McPherson said. "Then, they shot the lights out and we couldn't put one in the ocean from the lifeguard's chair."
Though Tug had a visible speed advantage to go with its more physical nature, Catholic stayed in a man-to-man offense throughout the game, never mixing the defense up with a zone or even a junk defense to slow Brewer or Newsome.
"That was the game plan. We thought we could stay with them in man, because those three guards (Brewer, Newsome and Aaron Muncy) are going to shoot the lights out of a zone," McPherson said. "We just have to man up and hope we see them down the road and play better the next time we see them."
The man defense played right into Tug's hands, Brewer said.
"We knew their guards were good, but they weren't too good in a one-on-one match-up," Brewer said. "We knew if we kept putting pressure on them we could keep getting the boards, because we're bigger and stronger than they are. We thought we'd win by double digits if we played as good as we could."
McClanahan is expected to be back Friday, when the Irish play host to St. Albans as part of a deal with the Mountain State Athletic Conference to compensate for that league's current 15-school roster. MSAC teams will play placement games Friday night, with the league championship and third-place game set for Saturday in the league's Night of Champions in South Charleston.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on