After being slowed by a wrist injury and coming off the bench last season for Father Judge, Tom Quarry had a start to this season that was beyond impressive.
The 6-foot-6, 170-pound senior wing averaged 24.8 points in the squad's 8-0 beginning. He tied the school's single-game scoring record with 34 points in a 72-49 romp over Pope John Paul II.
Of his early outbursts, Quarry said. "I was very relaxed and calm, and my teammates did a real good job of getting me the ball."
Quarry and the Crusaders are now attempting to rebound from an 0-5 start in Catholic League play. That included an overtime loss at first-place Neumann-Goretti and a double-overtime setback against St. Joseph's Prep. "Almost every game has come down to the wire for us," Judge coach Sean Tait said.
The Crusaders (9-6 overall) gained their first league victory Tuesday night with a 62-55 decision against Lansdale Catholic at Bill Fox Gymnasium. Quarry produced 16 points, including four three-pointers, and five rebounds in the must-win contest.
"We know we're playing pretty good basketball, but every game in the Catholic League is a dogfight," Quarry said. "There's so much parity."
Quarry, a high jumper in track and field, is averaging 20.1 points entering Friday night's contest at second-place Bonner-Prendergast. The 18-year-old from Bensalem has drilled 51 treys.
"He worked really hard in the offseason to get stronger and improve his overall game," Tait said. "He's athletic, a solid shooter, and he can also get to the rim."
Quarry managed 13 points, 10 boards, three blocks, and three assists last Friday night in a 47-42 loss against league rival and Northeast Philly neighbor Archbishop Ryan.
Judge has had to work hard at filling the considerable void left by the graduation of three savvy guards: Marc Rodriguez, a 1,000-point scorer now at East Stroudsburg, Mike Power (Holy Family), and Matt O'Connor (Moravian).
"Those guys were such good leaders," said Quarry, who will play at Johns Hopkins. "My goal coming into the year was to continue the example they set for the team."
Quarry, 6-2 senior forward Drew Riley, and 6-foot junior workhorse Shane Dooley (17 points against Lansdale Catholic) are this season's catalysts. Support comes from senior wing Conor McHugh and junior lead guard Alphonso Chie.
Quarry, who played AAU ball at St. Charles Borromeo, chose Judge over nearby Holy Ghost Prep. His brothers, Conor, 26, and Patrick, 23, attended Judge and Holy Ghost, respectively.
Patrick was a forward in ice hockey at Holy Ghost and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. The boys' father, Tom, went to Judge and was a standout swimmer for the Crusaders and then at Temple.