Ullman, Padden lead Crusaders past St. Joseph

PARKERSBURG – No. 4 (Class A) Parkersburg Catholic warmed up for its showdown with No. 1 Charleston Catholic tonight at the home of the Irish by handing the visiting Irish from Huntington St. Joseph a 77-54 thumping Monday night at the Crusaders’ gym.

Juniors Jake Ullman and Joe Padden combined for 44 points and Kody Offenberger came off of the bench to pour in 11 points as Parkersburg Catholic improved to 14-2 on the season.

St. Joseph, now 2-15, was led by Michael Mayes’ 21 points and 16 from Ben Goheen.

The visitors were able to keep the margin under 10 points in the first half thanks to 14 points from Mayes and trailed by only eight, 35-27, after the first 16 minutes of the game.

That would be as close as the Irish would get as Parkersburg Catholic opened the second half with a 17-6 run and never looked back.

Padden, who finished with 19 points, six rebounds and four steals, got things going for the Columbia blue and white with a pair of free throws just 16 seconds into the third quarter.

Austin Luther followed with a one-for-two effort at the charity stripe and Ullman, who tallied a game-high 25 points, pushed the margin to 40-27 before an inside bucket by St. Joseph’s Anthony Rabel momentarily slowed down the hosts.

That didn’t last long, however, as Ullman’s fourth triple of the game gave the Crusaders’ their biggest lead of the night, 43-29, with 6:17 showing on the clock. But, PC was far from finished.

Four free throws by the Irish’s Goheen would be the only points the visitors would score over the next three minutes while a Padden triple and two layins by Ullman and one by Luther pushed the lead to 17, 52-35, with three minutes left in the quarter.

Parkersburg Catholic would close out the quarter on an 11-3 run as Padden, Carson Weyer and Offenberger all connected from long range while Nick Roedersheimer tallied an inside bucket to give the Crusaders a 25-point, 63-38, lead with one quarter left to play.

An eight-minute period in which PC’s head coach Robby Strcula elected to play his bench.

St. Joseph was able to hang with their hosts in the early going as Mayes, who added six rebounds and three steals, was a one-man show. The senior hit on five of his first seven shots and scored all 12 of the Irish’s points as the Crusaders led by four, 16-12, after the first quarter of action.

Parkersburg Catholic’s pressure defense began to pay dividends in the second quarter as the Crusaders went on a 14-5 run over the final 6:25 of the half to break open a one-point, 21-20, contest and head into the intermission leading by eight, 35-27.