Boys basketball: Charleston Catholic’s George headlines Class A All-State team

Regardless of their locations, high school basketball fans have got to know Charleston Catholic seniors Nick George and Garret McCarty well in the last four years.

The core of the Irish lineup in each of the last two seasons and part of the team’s starting lineup since 2011, George and McCarty reached the State Tournament championship game every year since winning the Class A title in 2012. The Irish were runners-up to Tug Valley in 2013 and fell to Wheeling Central in last week’s state championship game.

In sum, the duo started 11 State Tournament games in its four years at the school, and won eight of those games.

George, a 6-foot-4 forward, has been named the captain of the 2014 Class A All-State team. His point guard, the 5-10 McCarty, joined him on the team selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.

“As much as I know these men sitting up here, especially as leaders, the bottom line is they are truly doing it for themselves and for each other,” Catholic coach Bill McClanahan said regarding the duo after the Irish beat Notre Dame in a Class A state tournament semifinal last week.

McClanahan retired Saturday after the loss to Central. He announced in February that he was stepping down.

“It’s not about me, it is truly about them,” McClanahan said. “I’m part of it but the bottom line of it is it comes back to them.”

George averaged 18.7 points per game and finished his career as Charleston Catholic’s all-time scoring leader with 1,608 points. He had 20 points and 14 rebounds in a double-overtime title-game loss to Central.

McCarty, who began his career as a defensive specialist and learned the point position under former All-State point guard Bo McKown at Catholic, emerged as a scorer in his senior season. He averaged 18.4 points per game while remaining one of the top defenders in the state in 2014.

The state champion Maroon Knights also landed a pair of players on the All-State team, including 6-5 senior guard David Park, who averaged 17.9 points per game. Park’s emergence in the stretch run of the title game, when he scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Irish began to struggle on offense, helped lead the school to its 11th state title in the sport. That total trails that only Class AAA Woodrow Wilson’s 16 state championships.

Sophomore Chase Harler, a 6-3 guard, also made the team. He finished his season with an exclamation point by scoring 32 points in the title game, going 4 of 7 from 3-point range and sinking 10 of 13 free throws in the process.

“I’m glad I got to play him so one day I can say I got to play him,” George said of Harler. “He’s going to be special one day. He is special. I mean, 32 in the state championship game, that’s unbelievable.”

Harler averaged 20.2 points per game.

The All-State includes just one other senior. Notre Dame 6-4 forward Cal Cistaro made the cut after leading the Fighting Irish to their first State Tournament semifinal appearance since 1989. Cistaro averaged 18.8 points per game.

Greater Beckley Christian 6-foot junior guard Elisha Kidd (20.6 points per game), Magnolia 6-1 sophomore guard Preston Boswell (24.5) and 6-6 Valley (Fayette) sophomore center Zac Warden (17.0) complete the first team. Boswell, who started for Magnolia in the state tournament as a freshman in 2013, was the only member of the first team that did not play in Charleston last week.

Clay-Battelle 6-5 senior forward Zach Chisler (15.4) was named captain of the second team, and Notre Dame 5-7 freshman guard Jarrod West (11.0) captained the third team.

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