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St. Bede sophomore Jarret Olson (center) splits Princeton’s Brenton Schmidt (No. 22) and Garrett Duffin (No. 12) on his way to the hoop during Friday’s Three Rivers Conference South Division game at the Academy. Olson, who finished with a team-high 21 points, hit two go-ahead free throws with 6.8 seconds to play and the Bruins survived Princeton’s final flurry. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
The Princeton boys basketball team gave itself a chance in the closing seconds Friday against St. Bede.
Its second chance, however, didn’t come in time.
After St. Bede’s Jarret Olson hit two go-ahead free throws with 6.8 seconds left in Friday’s Three Rivers Conference South Division game at the Academy, Princeton’s Garrett Duffin went coast-to-coast but missed a contested lay-in. His rebound bounced long to Princeton’s Brenton Schmidt, who hit the game-tying shot at the buzzer.
However, the shot was immediately called off by the officials as the Bruins survived with a 54-52 victory.
“I was happy with the end result, but not really happy with the end play,” St. Bede coach Mike Kilmartin said. “I don’t think that basket was even close to counting.” Princeton coach Jesse Brandt said he didn’t think Schmidt’s shot was released in time but admitted he didn’t see all the aspects of the final play.
“I don’t think it was before the buzzer, or it didn’t seem like it was if it was,” Brandt said. “I thought we maybe got fouled on (Duffin’s) drive. We ran the play we were trying to run, run Garrett off a couple of screens, let him drive and if he couldn’t get there we had a couple of guys waiting to kick it to. He was able to get to the basket, but he just didn’t quite get it in.”
Instead, St. Bede pulled out the crazy win.
After the first quarter, the Bruins (9-6) never trailed but were unable to deliver the knock out blow to allow Princeton (3-10) to hang around.
With the Tigers down 49-41 early in the fourth quarter, PHS went on a 7-0 run to pull to 49-48 with 2:37 to play, which caused Kilmartin to call a timeout.
After both teams traded buckets to make it 51-20, Bruin freshman Braidy Shipp went 1-for-2 from the foul line to give SBA a 52-50 lead with 41.5 seconds remaining.
Trying to tie the game, Princeton threw the ball down low to Duffin, who surrounded was by defenders and lost possession of the ball but pulled it back in with one hand as he flew out of out bounds while calling timeout with 16 seconds to play.
Out of the stoppage, Duffin missed back-to-back shots around the basket but put in his third opportunity to tie the game at 52 with 8.5 seconds left.
However, on the ensuing SBA inbounds pass, the Bruins threw a leap ball to Olson at half court. Olson snatched the loose ball and drove toward the hoop when he was tripped.
Following a PHS timeout, Olson made two bonus free throws to give the Bruins a 54-52 lead with 6.8 seconds to play.
“After I got fouled, (Princeton) called the timeout and coach (Kilmartin) was like, ‘After he hits these two free throws…,’” Olson said. “He had confidence in me and the team all had confidence in me.”
After taking the lead, St. Bede called a timeout.
“We knew exactly who was getting the ball,” Olson said. “Scoring 27 points in a game, you know who is getting the last shot.”
Duffin received possession near midcourt, split traffic and drove to the hoop but missed the game-tying off-balanced lay-in before Schmidt, who grabbed the rebound, had his game-tying shot called off.
“(Duffin)’s their best player, but we told the kids not to help,” Kilmartin said. “We got beat at Sherrard on a 3 with two seconds left, so I wasn’t going to get beat on a 3. If we were going to overtime, we were going to go overtime. We were just lucky that he missed it.”
Olson scored a team-high 21 points for SBA, while Duffin had a game-high 27 points and nine rebounds for PHS, which lost to SBA 71-39 on Dec. 29 at the Plano Christmas Classic.
“It was back and forth a few times, but I don’t think we ever got (the lead),” Brandt said. “We had a couple of chances and a couple of looks. But as I told the kids I was proud with where we’re at. I think we’re taking steps in the right direction. Did I want to win the game? Heck yeah. I’m upset we lost, but happy that we played better than we did in any of the four games at Plano.”
Note: Princeton won the sophomore contest 52-40. SBA’s Shipp scored a game-high 12 points despite playing just two quarters, while Princeton received 10 points from Tanner Kuhne.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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