Cade Ullman, Parkersburg Catholic a threat at state tournament

Any time a high school basketball player scores 33 points in a single game, it’s an impressive accomplishment.

To do it in the state quarterfinals with your season and high school career on the line, as Parkersburg Catholic senior Cade Ullman did against Notre Dame Wednesday, is an incredible achievement.

Ullman went 10 for 22 from the floor, including 6 for 10 from 3, to lead all scorers and help the sixth-seeded Crusaders upset the third-seeded Fighting Irish, a team that had beaten Catholic twice in the regular season.

The thing about Ullman, though, is he’s used to scoring points in bunches and helping his team win. So, when taking the podium at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center after Wednesday morning’s win to talk to the media, Ullman was humbler than you might expect a high schooler to be in that situation.

“It means a lot come out here and beat a good Notre Dame team and play well,” said the Catholic senior. “I’ll do anything to help this team. Obviously today I went out and hit shots, but (my teammates) got me open and ran screens. All the credit to them. Hopefully we keep it up.”

They have a great chance to keep it up. Starting with today’s state semifinal against Wheeling Central (tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.), Rob Strcula-coached Catholic is a legitimate threat to win the single-A state championship. When you have a player of Ullman’s caliber, you always have a chance.

As he proved against Notre Dame, as well as many other times throughout his prep career, Ullman is capable of going off in any game. When he does, Catholic is tough to stop.

It’s not a one-man show, though, as Ullman and Strcula said in front of the microphones Wednesday.

Pat Copen, Jeb Boice, Ty Sturm, Jalen Brunny, Xavier Collie, Peyton Amrine and Wade Smitley all made important contributions to Wednesday’s win.

Whether it was Copen’s 12 points and nine rebounds, Boice’s ball-handling against tough defensive pressure, Sturm’s vocalness and leadership, Collie’s hustle, Smitley and Brunny’s effort inside, or Amrine’s 3 with 1:17 remaining in the first half, Catholic’s win was a total team effort even if the stats sheet doesn’t totally reflect it.

“My teammates are always there for me,” Ullman said. “Everybody behind me played very well.”

All those factors make Catholic a serious contender to be holding a state title above their heads Saturday.

“My last year, I don’t want it to end,” Ullman said. “Just want to keep it rolling.”

Contact Jordan Holland at jholland@newsandsentinel.com

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