A quick pop-in to Canisius Wednesday evening brought me in just in time for the last three minutes of regulation as well as overtime as the Crusaders earned a 60-57 win over Bishop Kearney, the Rochester school which won last year's Class B title.
As soon as I walked in, Canisius fans told me that they had been down 20 at halftime (38-18), which deserved a "whoa."
Here's Blair Helton going coast-to-coast to score with 11 seconds left in overtime and put Canisius ahead for good, 58-57.
James Taylor had given Kearney a 57-56 lead by hitting both ends of a one-and-one with 20.3 seconds left.
After Helton's basket, Brian Graham stole Kearney's inbounds pass and went 2 for 4 at the free-throw line in the final 10 seconds; Gordon Lyons had a key offensive rebound on a free-throw miss. Troy James' long three-pointer from the right side missed at the buzzer.
Kearney led, 52-49, with 2:02 left in regulation but Helton went 3 of 4 from the line the rest of the way to send the game to overtime.
The game between two of the top teams in the state drew a small crowd, but that made sense considering it was a nonleaguer being so late in the Monsignor Martin campaign.
No. 4 large school Canisius (16-3) was coming off Sunday's blowout at St. Joe's and will play again at home tonight against fellow top 10 large school Bishop Timon-St. Jude, which is ranked sixth.
Canisius, which was also playing without injured key players C.J. Coatsworth and James Gaines, started slowly, but it allowed Kearney (8-6) just 19 points after halftime, winning the third quarter, 20-11; the fourth, 14-3.
Canisius coach Kyle Husband:
"We didn't play hard in the first half … we just kind of went through the motions after Sunday's big win and with Timon tomorrow," said . "I don't know if they just thought we were going to roll through this one, or that it was just not important, but they responded and made it important in the second half.
"We were just so flat coming off Sunday … we had all the built-in excuses that we could have had and at halftime we talked about that," said Husband. "They stepped up and responded and they were awesome."
I threw up the scorebooks here after there was a question about Blair Roberts -- I saw him on the bench and was told he had fouled out; according to the scorebook he did not score.
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