A finale, of sorts, for Eustace's Puriefoy

Posted: March 20, 2012

Carson Puriefoy isn't one to give in to sentimentality, but the Bishop Eustace senior point guard is definitely going to savor the final time he represents his high school in competition.

That will occur Sunday when Puriefoy competes in the Al Carino Basketball Club of South Jersey's 35th annual all-star game, at 3 p.m. at Rutgers-Camden.

"It's my last high school game, and 20 years from now, I will be able to tell my kids I played in this game," Puriefoy said before Monday night's all-star practice at his high school. "I am really looking forward to the opportunity of competing one more time."

After he graduates, it will be on to Stony Brook, where Puriefoy has earned a basketball scholarship to a program definitely on the rise.

Sunday also could be a time for Puriefoy to reflect on all he has accomplished, especially going out in spectacular fashion.

Puriefoy enjoyed the type of state tournament that got a little obscured by the fact that Bishop Eustace didn't win the South Jersey title.

"He was huge in the postseason," said Eustace coach Bob Falconiero, who also will be the coach of Puriefoy's West team in the all-star game.

"Huge" might be downplaying the accomplishments of the 6-foot guard.

In three playoff games, Puriefoy scored 96 points. That included a 39-point effort in a 66-61 win over defending state Non-Public A champion St. Augustine in the South Jersey quarterfinals.

Puriefoy then scored 34 in a 71-61 overtime loss to eventual state champion St. Joseph Metuchen in the sectional semifinals.

"I felt I needed to step up in the postseason to help my team," Puriefoy said. "We had a great season."

The Crusaders went 23-6 and were the No. 5 team in the final Inquirer South Jersey rankings.

Puriefoy scored 1,688 career points, averaging 22.5 this season. Besides scoring, Puriefoy is just as adept as a passer and always takes on tough defensive challenges, as well.

He seems to have perfect timing, too. He will enter Stony Brook right after the team's point guard and all-time leading Division I scorer, Bryan Dougher, graduates. Dougher ended with 1,609 career points.

"I will have the opportunity to compete for playing time," Puriefoy said, failing to take anything for granted.

Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell agreed.

"He absolutely can contribute immediately," Pikiell said by phone. "I like that he can play fast and is a pure point guard who can get in the lane, is fearless, has a good basketball IQ, and can be a really good defender."

Puriefoy had been on Stony Brook's radar long before he made an oral commitment in October.

"We recruited a year and a half to replace our point guard, and he was our No. 1 point guard," Pikiell said. "Besides what he does on the court, he's a great kid, a great student, and comes from a great family."

The Seawolves just completed their 13th season as a Division I program and have yet to make the NCAA Tournament. This year, though, they advanced to the America East Conference Tournament championship game for the second consecutive season.

Vermont beat Stony Brook, 51-43, in the America East final to earn the automatic NCAA bid. The Seahawks ended a 22-10 season by losing at Seton Hall, 63-61, in the first round of the NIT.

"We have a good recruiting class, and our goal is to be part of the first NCAA [Tournament] team there," Puriefoy said.

He plans to begin attending summer classes in the second week of July, and he says he can't wait to get started on his college career. He also is grateful for having been part of the Bishop Eustace program.

"I have had such great memories playing high school basketball," he said.

Puriefoy created plenty of them, too, something that shouldn't cease once his high school career ends Sunday.

Contact Marc Narducci at 856,779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com or @sjnard on Twitter. Find his Rally columns at www.philly.com/narducci

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