St. Joe's Prep's Slusarczyk has senior moment

Posted: February 11, 2014

WITH A LAST name like Slusarczyk, maybe Ricky doesn't look much to score to avoid tying the tongues of public address announcers.

Yesterday was senior appreciation day at St. Joseph's Prep so the 6-4 senior forward had no worries about an unfamiliar voice taking a cleaver to his surname.

"The announcer today did pretty well," Slusarczyk (sloo-SAR-check) joked postgame. "I hear Slus-HER-chick and Slu-JER-zick a lot; all kinds of names really. Some people just stop trying. They just say Slussss and just give up."

Slusarczyk is a rebounder by nature so anytime he grabs as many boards as letters in his name - it was probably a good day.

He gobbled 10 off the glass yesterday in the Prep's 56-40 win over visiting Archbishop Wood. He also managed six points and added a few statless defensive plays.

"The things I look at most at the end of the games are rebounds," Slusarczyk said. "I know I won't get every rebound but maybe boxing out will help a teammate get a rebound. It's just working hard, really. I don't really care how many points I score."

Seniors Tom Fox (nine points), Ryan Wall (eight), Kyle Thompson (five) and Alex Stewart (five) were important yesterday in support of junior franchise forward Chris Clover, who scored 18 (7-for-17, one three, 3-for-3).

"It's been awesome," Slusarczyk said, "especially playing for coach [Speedy] Morris, who is one of the greatest coaches ever."

Seniors Chris Hoffner (three points) and Malik Macon also saw action, as did fellow senior guard John Luciano, who fielded a late pass on the right wing adjacent the SJP bench, which prodded, "shoot it!"

Luciano buried the jumper to earn his fifth point in Catholic League play and, of course, a roaring ovation.

For the Vikings, junior forward Luke Connaghan scored 11 with six boards and two steals. Cody Fitzpatrick, a junior wing, scored eight. Pat Smith (Cornell) took mostly the shots he wanted, but netted just two points on 1-for-10 shooting.

Wood trailed, 36-20, at the half and closed the deficit to, 40-30, at the end of three. However, a 13-for-21 day at the foul line combined with one of 15 from trey proved costly. The Vikings will host Neumann-Goretti tonight at 7 p.m. (from Friday's postponement due to a power outage at Wood).

The Prep will head to La Salle on Friday for quarterfinal action. The Hawks beat the Explorers, 58-47, Jan. 31.

As for Slusarczyk, who lives in Exton, he is eyeing Division III Hobart College (N.Y.) or Marywood (Scranton) for basketball next season. His dad, Steven, played at Father Judge and then at now-closed Spring Garden College. The head Slusarczyk in charge, mom, Colleen, also attended the senior day festivities.

"It was awesome," Ricky said. "We came out excited to play. We all knew it was our last home game here and we wanted to make it a good one; play for our families, play for our parents to try and thank them, so it was a great win."

On Twitter: @AceCarterDN

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