Lansdale Catholic earns CL postseason berth
EXCEPT FOR classic game-changers, maybe, most shots cannot be described in vivid detail by the basketball players who launch them.
Monday night, however, Chris Rudisill had noooooo trouble breaking down a third-quarter attempt.
"I got a rebound underneath the basket, in the middle of the lane," he said. "I threw it up and thought I got fouled, but . . . no call. Can't cry about it."
Care to guess why Rudisill experienced no difficulty remembering that sequence? The shot was the only one he took all night!
But thanks to 14 rebounds, three blocks and two steals, the 6-6, 210-pound senior center was a major factor as Lansdale Catholic muffled Conwell-Egan, 50-35, in a pre-playoff at La Salle High, thus earning the Catholic League's 10th and final postseason berth.
LC, in year No. 5 of CL membership, will make its first appearance in a regular playoff Wednesday against host Archbishop Wood, the No. 7 seed. That game's set for 7 p.m.
This was the teams' second meeting in as many nights. Sunday, the Crusaders stormed into C-E and claimed a pulsating, 50-47 triumph, thus forcing Part Two.
Sunday, Rudisill went the goose-egg route, and it wasn't the first time. In 13 regular-season league games, he managed to post just 20 points with a high of six.
"I'm not greedy," he said, smiling. "I don't need to score. It doesn't matter who scores as long as we come out on top. I doubt I average more than two or three shots a game. I only take them when I need to take them. And I try to never take a stupid shot. In the end, that can wind up hurting your team."
Rudisill then mentioned that he likes dishing the ball to teammates such as Jim Rock, Andrew Riviello and Brian Rafferty. To anyone, really.
"I'm mostly out there to rebound and play defense, do the other things that can help us win, hopefully," he added.
Truthfully, opportunities for rebounds were plentiful early, especially the defensive variety. The Eagles missed 15 of their first 16 shots and did not notch their second field goal until 4:09 remained in the second quarter.
The first one had been a three-pointer by Ryan Pepito. This was a follow by Vinny Dalessandro, who was hacked and added the free throw. LC was still cruisin' at 22-6.
Even better, Rudisill was part of the action.
"Different refs are going to call things different ways," he said. "I do miss lots of time with fouls. I have to control myself. Only go for blocks when I know I can get them [cleanly]. Having to sit down is frustrating because I can't help my team.
"This is my senior year. It's the one you want to be special. The one you want to remember."
Rudisill, who's quite the math whiz, ranks in the top 25 percent of his class and already has made plans to attend Drexel and major in some branch of engineering.
He doubts he'll try to play there as a walk-on.
"Really," he said, "I never thought I'd be good in basketball, or even a starter for this team. It's all new to me."
After securing the win, the Crusaders headed upstairs, into the locker room used by La Salle, and coach Ed Enoch, a former star at Penn Charter and Penn, bubbled with emotion while congratulating his players. He then bounced around the room to deliver personal messages.
Just four players scored for LC. Riviello and Rafferty rang up 18 and 17, respectively, while Corey Kirk (10) and Rock (five) fleshed out the scoring column. Rafferty added eight rebounds and five assists and Cole Sagan notched three steals.
Three freshmen - Stevie Jordan (nine), LaPri Pace (eight) and Dalesandro (seven; also eight rebounds and three blocks) - topped C-E, which will not be collecting the uniforms.
The Eagles are the CL's top Class AA team - of only two; West Catholic went winless - and will make down-the-road appearances in the City Title and state playoffs.
Rudisill, who lives in Chalfont, said he does not block as many shots in practices as he does in games.
"I guess," he noted, "I have more pep in my step for games."
But he never gets itchy fingers.