Wood you believe 8 straight treys?

Posted: January 29, 2013

PAT SMITH can remember missing numerous shots as a youngster, and that many did not even hit the rim.

Know why? There wasn't one. All part of dad's master plan.

"When I was growing up," Smith said, "I didn't even shoot at a basket half the time. He'd make me grab the ball and just let it go. Make sure my hands were right. Make sure my release was right. Make sure my rotation was right.

"He always stressed fundamentals. You had to have those."

Brian Smith, Pat's father, would have enjoyed himself immensely Monday night while watching a Catholic League basketball game involving his son's team, Archbishop Wood, and host Conwell-Egan.

During the first quarter, especially, he would have needed to pinch himself nonstop.

Pat Smith, a 6-5, 180-pound junior wing guard, fueled one of the most amazing shooting exhibitions in world history. Yes, world. He sank five consecutive treys, and teammates Shane Neher, Tommy Rush and Cody Fitzpatrick nailed one apiece, as the Vikings hit their first eight attempts from beyond the arc.

Let that register for a moment. Wood, en route to a 65-53 triumph, made its first eight treys!

Again and again, Pat Smith thought about how much his dad would have loved it. Sadly, though he'd experienced no previous health problems, he died of a heart attack on Jan. 9.

"I've been up and down with my emotions," Pat said. "Right before every basketball game, that's when it hits me the most. His favorite thing to do was watch me play basketball. He was such a big influence on how I play. He especially wanted me to play the right way.

"He wanted me to use basketball to get a good education, and he supported me in everything I do. I want to continue doing the same things I do, so I can show how well my father brought me along. I'm getting a lot of help from my teammates. I couldn't be around a better group."

Smith, a strong student, is already being pursued, hard, by schools in the Ivy and Patriot leagues.

Overall, he shot 11-for-18 (7-for-13 on treys) and 1-for-1 for 30 points. Most of his three-pointers were drained from the wings, but he managed not to hurt the feelings of the baseline and top of the key.

His first-quarter run began with a regular, then it was bang, bang, bang, bang, bang from distance. The Vikings' first miss on a trey, by Fitzpatrick, came with 1:14 left in that session. The score after those 8 minutes was 28-10; Fitzpatrick had contributed the other two-pointer.

"That was incredible," said Smith, who added four rebounds and three blocked shots. "I'd never made five threes in a row in a game. And then to have my teammates joining right in with me; even more special. I guess we had a combination of luck and good teamwork. My teammates did a great job finding me."

Often, Smith's game performance does not mirror how he fares in warmups.

"Usually, if I'm brickin' them during warmups, I tend to shoot better in the game," he said. "I guess that's because I'm focused even more to make sure I don't mess up.

"Everything was falling. I can't explain five threes in a row."

Smith, who lives in Chalfont, routinely works out at a nearby gym. Almost without fail he launches 300 shots per session from three throws to treys to midrange pullups from every possible locale.

"I keep a journal," he said. "I have every workout written down, and it shows how I did. At each spot, I'm always trying to make nine out of 10."

For the game, Wood shot 11-for-21 on threebies. The other not posted by Smith, Neher, Rush and Fitzpatrick went to Eric Walsh, son of coach Jack Walsh, in the second quarter.

Rush finished with four assists. Subs Luke Connaghan (six) and T.J. Kuhar (five) led in rebounds. Freshmen Vinny Dalessandro (13) and LaPri Pace (12) led C-E in scoring while Ryan Pepito dealt four assists.

Pat Smith's immediate family includes his mother, Joanne, two brothers, Brian and Sean, and a sister, Liz. For each of them, as well, some days are much better than others.

For Pat, thoughts of those shooting sessions never fail to produce a smile.

"Sometimes, he would really bark at me," he said. "I had to shoot the right way. He made sure of that. A lot of people my dad formerly coached came to the viewing. They were all saying, 'Your dad was crazy about fundamentals.' That's definitely the main thing he passed on to me."

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