Catholic High School didn’t have an answer for Walker’s Jalen Cook, but the Bears still found a way to pick up an 82-79 win Friday night at Catholic.
Cook made seven 3-pointers and scored 50 points. It wasn’t enough as Catholic built enough of a cushion in the fourth quarter to withstand one last surge by Cook.
Kentrell Garnett was the catalyst for Catholic (14-3), and he finished with four 3-pointers and 35 points. Also hitting double figures for the Bears were London Scott with 13, and Caleb Warner with 12.
The game’s pivotal sequence came midway through the fourth quarter.
Cook’s steal and layup gave Walker its first lead of the game at 70-68 with 4:34 left to play. The teams traded possessions until Catholic’s Ian Cavana missed a 3-point shot with 2:12 left. Cook was called for an over-the-back foul on the rebound, and Walker coach Anthony Schiro was assessed a technical foul after arguing the call.
Catholic went on to make 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch. It was just enough to hold off Walker (15-5), which got three 3-pointers from Cook in the game’s last 30 seconds.
Catholic led 64-58 entering the fourth quarter, but Walker made five of its first six shots to pull even 68-68.
The Bears took a 44-38 lead into halftime, and stretched its advantage to 10 points twice in the third quarter. Two late 3-pointers by Garnett helped Catholic maintain its six-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
Catholic tried to run away and hide in the early going.
The Bears five of their first eight shots from the field, and 4 of 5 at the foul line as they took a 15-6 lead midway through the first quarter. Jalen Cook scored eight points in the quarter’s closing minutes, a stretch that included a three-point play and a 3-pointer from the right corner.
Caleb Warner fed Kentrell Garnett for a layup with two seconds left, and Catholic took a 22-17 lead into the second quarter.
Walker made four of six shots from the floor to open the second quarter, and pulled even at 26-26. The Wildcats forced two more ties, but never took the lead.
Catholic forged a 44-38 halftime lead thanks to three 3-pointers — two by Dennis Hebert and another by Garnett.
For the half, Catholic shot 46.6 percent (14 of 30) from the floor while Walker connected on 45.4 percent (15 of 33).