By Matt Chandik
The game hadn’t been in question for the last 12 or so minutes of game time. Archbishop Carroll was putting the finishing touches on what ended as a 78-41 dismantling of District Three No. 6 seed Palmyra in the second round of the PIAA Class 5A tournament. Patriots coach Paul Romanczuk was starting to sub out his starters one at a time, but Jesse McPherson had plans for one final exclamation point.
Carroll freshman point guard A.J. Hoggard took the ball to the hoop, but his shot dangled off the rim and into the air. McPherson didn’t mind. The senior center skied through the air and rocked the rebound home, an emphatic finish that highlighted a monster game from McPherson.
He poured in 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting – making his last seven attempts – to go with 11 rebounds and three blocks.
All in a day’s work to send the Patriots to the quarterfinals, where they’ll face Northeastern (York) at a date, time and place to be determined.
“It’s just aggressiveness and confidence,” McPherson said. “This year, over the summer with my recruitment going, my confidence was going up and up. Me being aggressive just comes along with it. For four years, Coach Paul has talked about working on my motor and just keeping it moving. I’m not the type of player that needs the ball, though. If somebody else is scoring, good. If you’re going to dish it off, you got it. If you’re hot, I got you. I feel like we play well as a team when nobody is saying, ‘make sure he takes the shots.’ That’s when we’re best as a team when everyone is involved.”