Andrew Funk was Archbishop Wood’s sixth man in last season’s run to the program’s first basketball titles in the Catholic League, District 12, and the state.
Now, with Collin Gillespie at Villanova and Matt Cerruti at Lock Haven, the senior combination guard has an increased role.
“I need to look to be more of a scorer, set up my teammates in good spots when I’m playing the point, and help with the development of our younger players,” Funk says.
In Tuesday night’s league opener, Funk scored eight of his 12 points in the second half, as Wood topped upset-minded Father Judge, 53-42, in Holmesburg.
The Bucknell recruit, who added three rebounds and an assist against the Crusaders, is averaging 17.7 points per game.
“He’s improved his shooting, his decision-making when it comes to passing, and his winning attitude gives us a big boost,” Vikings coach John Mosco said.
Funk and senior wing guard Tyree Pickron, a Quinnipiac recruit who drilled two three-pointers en route to 10 points against Judge, are cocaptains. “Both of them realize that we need their leadership to be successful,” Mosco said.
With Wood (4-3 overall) and Judge tied at 32 midway through the third quarter, the Vikings closed the stanza with an 8-0 run that was highlighted by fast-break layups by Funk and Seth Pinkney, and Karrington Wallace’s follow dunk.
Pinkney, a 7-foot-senior, posted 15 points, including a pair of putbacks; five boards (four on offense); two assists; and a blocked shot. He was watched by college coaches from Santa Clara and Virginia Commonwealth.
Judge (8-2) closed the gap to 42-40 on Shane Dooley’s two free throws with less than four minutes remaining.
The Vikings answered with another 8-0 spurt to clinch the road victory. It began with Funk’s two free throws and was capped by Pinkney’s fast-break slam off a feed from freshman guard Rahsool Diggins.
Diggins, a 6-foot guard, chipped in 5 boards, 3 points, and 3 assists. Freshman Daeshon Shepherd, a 6-5 wing, added 6 points, 4 boards, and a block off the bench. “They’re giving everything we’ve asked from them, especially on the defensive end,” Mosco said.
Julius Phillips, a 6-6 junior, contributed 8 boards and 5 points. Wallace, a 6-7 senior reserve who is headed to Central Connecticut, chipped in 5 boards, 2 assists, and 2 blocks.
Funk, who played AAU ball for the Jersey Shore Warriors, committed to Bucknell in September. The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder also considered Delaware and Penn.
At Bucknell, Funk will compete against his brother, Tommy, a sophomore guard at Army and former Wood standout, in Patriot League action for two seasons.
“It should be a lot of fun,” the 17-year from Warrington said. “It will bring extra competitiveness to the game.”
Funk and the Vikings, who reversed last year’s home loss to Judge, will take on national power Montverde Academy (Fla.) in the 11th annual Cancer Research Classic at 6:15 p.m., Friday, in Wheeling, West Va.
On the cusp
William “Speedy” Morris, who is in his 50th season of coaching at the high school and college levels, is two victories shy of his 1,000th victory.
Number 998 came when host St. Joseph’s Prep easily defeated West Catholic, 75-55, in Tuesday afternoon’s Catholic League opener..
If the Prep can win at Judge on Friday night, Morris’ opportunity for the milestone would come at Archbishop Ryan (6-4, 1-0) at 2:30 p.m., Sunday.
In 17 seasons with the Hawks, Morris – who posted a 238-203 record with the La Salle University men’s squad – has compiled a 329-110 record (.749 winning percentage) and won a pair of league titles. He also coached La Salle’s women’s team and boys at Roman Catholic and Penn Charter.