De La Salle’s relentless pressure eventually took its toll, letting the Cavaliers take a 54-47 overtime victory over visiting E.D. White on Tuesday night in a Class 3A second-round boys basketball playoff game.
The No. 7 seed Cavaliers (28-5), who advanced to play No. 2 seed University High in the quarterfinals, have won 20 of their past 21 games.
No. 10 seed E.D. White (22-5) frustrated the Cavaliers with a patient, quick passing attack, and the Cardinals led after each of the first three quarters.
“They played an extremely good game,” De La Salle coach Paul Kelly said. “Every team makes mistakes. They played, in my mind, an almost flawless game. They pad a perfect plan and executed to perfection. I think our determination and hustle eventually turned it around.”
The Cardinals built a 30-27 halftime lead and committed only four turnovers in the first two quarters.
De La Salle forced five turnovers in the fourth quarter alone.
A 3-pointer by Randy Munson gave the Cavaliers the lead for good at 46-43 at the beginning of overtime.
After E.D. White cut it to 46-45, David Williams scored on a hook from the low post and a fast break layup after an E.D. White turnover. It was 50-45 with 1:30 remaining in overtime.
The Cavaliers then made 4 of 6 free throws to seal the victory.
“The free throws were big,” Kelly said. “We had to have those.”
After leading most of the night, it took a Thomas Clement 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 43. The Cavaliers’ DeShaun Wright missed an off-balance 18-footer at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
Frustrated by the Cardinals’ patient motion offense, De La Salle trailed by as much as nine points, 18-9 with 2:20 remaining in the first half, before cutting it to 18-16 at halftime.
The Cardinals had thrived off ball movement and easy shots in the paint, but Williams blocked a shot on the low block with 1:54 remaining. He followed with a spinning basket off the low post with 12 seconds remaining and the Cavs trailed 18-14.
A steal by Kairon Brooks and two free throws with only two seconds showing cut the margin to 18-16.
Winston Jones, who had nine first-half points for the Cardinals, scored the first seven points of the second half and the lead stretched to 25-16.
The Cardinals committed only four turnovers in the first half but unleashed a trio of mistakes in a 50-second span midway through the third quarter.
De La Salle capitalized and fought back to a 27-27 tie before a three-point play just before the end of the period gave E.D. White a 30-27 advantage.