After blowing an eight-point second quarter lead, Holy Cross trailed Jesuit nearly the rest of the game.
And, the Blue Jays certainly had the momentum when they took an eight-point lead with six minutes left.
However, led by point guard Noah Sciambra, Holy Cross came back in the final three minutes to take a 43-41 victory in a District 9-5A game Friday night at Jesuit.
“Our guys just played defense, and we buckled down and stopped Jesuit’s back-door screens,” said Holy Cross coach Mister Kirkwood. “This is a huge rivalry. We won the loose balls and kept them from getting second shots.”
Holy Cross is 9-10, 1-1 in district. Jesuit, 6-12 overall, lost its district opener.
Sciambra, who finished with 13 points, scored eight in the fourth quarter. His three-point play with 2:34 left, when he drove to the basket, scored and was fouled, brought the Tigers to 40-30.
It stayed that way until guard Xavian McKay was fould by Jesuit center Rob Weiss with 1:36 showing. McKay made two free throws, giving Holy Cross a 41-40 lead.
Guard Chris Beebe missed a layup with eight seconds left that woule have given Jesuit the lead, and McKay, who was fouled on the rebound, sank two more free throws with 14.2 seconds left, sealing the victory.
“We couldn’t stop Sciambra in the fourth quarter,” said Jesuit coach Chris Jennings. “We played well for most of the game, but we lost our composure in the fourth quarter. It’s tough because it’s a loss at home.”
Center Rob Weiss led the Blue Jays with 15 points.
After forging ahead at halftime, Jesuit led 31-25 at the end of the third quarter and pushed it to 36-27 on a 3-pointer by freshman Elijah Morgan with 5:50 left in the quarter. Holy Cross then wenat on a 12-4 over the next three minutes, 16 seconds to give it a chance to win.
Jesuit led 18-17 at halftime after storming back from an eight-point deficit in the final 2:52 of the second quarter. Weiss scored three of the points on free throws, including two at 1:26 after being fouled while grabbing a defensive rebound. Patrick Schwing scored four, however, inlcuding a putback with 1.9 seconds left that gave the Jays the final lead.
Holy Cross took a 17-9 lead by scoring the first eight points of the second, with four different players getting a basket. The run, however, was fueled by the Tigers’ defense.
With both teams playing gritty man-to-man defense from the start, neither team shot well in the first quarter. However, in the second, the Tigers began picking up the Jays farther out on the perimeter, resulting in turnovers it turned into points on the fast break. Holy Cross also received dividends with its substituting.