And over again: Kapaun tops Carroll in OT
Even with the good fortune Kapaun Mount Carmel enjoyed last season in winning three games against Bishop Carroll, Crusaders guard Atir Cherne saw a dire situation unfolding Thursday.
Cherne’s teammate, Thomas O’Connor, was whistled for a foul on Carroll junior Connor Evans’ three-point attempt in the final second of regulation. Evans went to the line for three free throws with Carroll down by one.
And he made the first.
“No lie, I thought the odds were against us because he still had two shots to make one,” Cherne said. “We were just hoping for the best, and our crowd helped us by getting loud.”
Evans couldn’t add the one that likely would have given Carroll the victory. And Kapaun responded by outscoring host Carroll 8-2 in overtime for a 45-39 victory.
Cherne scored three of his game-high 13 points in the extra period as the crosstown rivals treated a large crowd to a pre-Christmas treat for the second consecutive season. Kapaun won a five-overtime thriller 80-76 last December, then edged Carroll 56-55 in the Class 5A sub-state tournament.
Evans’ missed free throws were part of an epidemic for Carroll, which finished 11 of 26 from the line.
“I think there was some second life for us,” Kapaun coach John Cherne said of the way the Crusaders played in overtime. “This game is always a hard-fought game.
“The kids go hard in all aspects. I think they really go harder than they do in some other games.”
Kapaun (2-3), coming off a 42-40 loss to North on Tuesday, forced five Carroll turnovers in the first quarter and built a 12-5 lead. The Crusaders maintained it most of the way before the Golden Eagles rallied in the fourth quarter.
“They looked like a team that had just lost a game,” Carroll coach Lonnie Lollar said of Kapaun’s strong start. “They came out looking like a team that wanted to get that nasty taste out of their mouth, and the only way you can do that is through defensive energy and offensive execution. Early on, they were better at it than we were.”
Carroll (1-3), which got 10 points from Evans and Matt Price, trailed by as many as 10 points in the third quarter. But the Eagles got within 35-34 with4:30 remaining in the fourth, and got their first lead since the opening quarter on Price’s 12-footer at the 1:19 mark.
Kapaun regained the lead at 37-36 on Joe Hickerson’s putback with 37 seconds left in regulation. After both teams missed free throws, Carroll played for the final shot, calling three timeouts to set up their final play.
Evans was fouled on a shot from the baseline as the clock showed zero. Officials put one-half second on the clock, and Evans’ first free throw danced on the rim and fell through.
After Carroll missed on its opportunity to win, Kapaun got two free throws from Cherne and two more points on a cut to the basket by sophomore Brock Monty to lead 41-37. Carroll’s only points of the extra period came on free throws by Evans and Price.
“Since I’ve been playing varsity, it seems like they’ve all been close and come down to the wire,” Atir Cherne said. “It was a typical Carroll game. Coach told us in overtime that the first one to five wins the game. That was our goal and we were just ready.”
Kapaun– Ewers 0 0-0 0, O’Connor 1 2-2 5, Auer 0 2-2 2, Monty 4 0-0 8, Cherne 3 7-10 13, Patton 3 4-6 11, Hickerson 2 0-1 4, Sheets 1 0-0 2, Dempsey 0 0-0 0, Lickteig 0 0-0 0.
Carroll – Hohl 2 1-4 6, Carney 2 0-1 4, Price 4 2-4 10, Evans 2 6-12 10, Bell 1 0-1 2, Wilbert 1 2-4 5, Benoit 0 0-0 0, Demel 1 0-0 2.