St. Thomas More had only one field goal in the overtime period, but the host Cougars made enough free throws Wednesday night to stay in the District 4-4A boys’ basketball race.
STM made four free throws in the final 1:19 to hold off Carencro’s upset-minded Golden Bears and take a 75-72 win, staying within one game of district unbeaten Northside — and the two teams play next Friday at the CougarDome in the regular-season finale.
“This was a huge win for us,” STM coach Danny Broussard said.
“We didn’t have many things going our way, but this one kept us alive.”
The Cougars (26-7, 6-1) trailed by double digits in the first quarter and were down the entire first half before Nate Cox made a 3-pointer at the halftime horn to tie the game at 35. The teams traded the lead 14 times in the second half and overtime.
Trevor Begue hit a free throw with 47 seconds left, the last of his game-high 24 points, and Jonathan Cisse added two more 12 seconds later for the final points.
The visiting Bears (20-8, 4-3) had a chance to send the game into a second overtime, but D’Andre Duddley’s 3-pointer bounced off the rim with eight seconds left and the Cougars claimed the rebound and claimed their second win over Carencro this season. STM took a 64-48 win at Carencro earlier.
“Carencro came out ready to play,” Broussard said. “That’s two good teams going at each other. It’s a shame one of these teams had to lose.”
Braylon Chaisson had 23 points for the Bears before fouling out at the end of regulation. He had eight of those in the second quarter that kept Carencro in front, including a dunk with 3:33 left that provided a 33-26 lead. But the Cougars scored the final seven points of the half.
DeVonte’ Benjamin had 16 of his 22 points in the second half for St. Thomas More, including eight straight in a one-minute period late in the game. His free throw with 2:23 left cut Carencro’s lead to 61-58, and he added a natural three-point play off a steal eight seconds later to tie the game at 61.
The teams swapped the lead four times before Jude Josephs’ free throw gave STM a 69-67 lead with 33 seconds left, but Dudley hit two free throws to tie the game.
After a steal, Nick Carmouche had two chances to give Carencro the win, but missed two free throws with 3.4 seconds left to force the extra period.
CARENCRO 59, STM 57 (GIRLS): Carencro put a kink in STM’s push to claim the No. 1 seeded spot in the Class 4A girls playoffs, escaping with a 59-57 overtime win over the Lady Cougars.
Ava Jones had 21 points including a driving layup with 55 seconds left, the only field goal for either team in overtime, that gave the Lady Bears (15-7, 7-2) the lead for good in the extra period.
Chrissy Brown added 16 and Jakaylon Fils 12 as Carencro got revenge for an earlier 52-46 St. Thomas More win Jan. 22.
Bailey Hemphill had 19 points, 16 in the second half, for the Lady Cougars (21-5, 8-1), who still lead the District 4-4A race entering Friday’s regular-season finale against Teurlings Catholic.