A buzzer beater at the end of regulation gave Carnahan all the momentum it needed for overtime in a consolation semifinal victory over Pacific Friday at the 60th Annual St. Francis Borgia Thanksgiving Tournament.
The seventh-seeded Cougars (1-2) knocked off sixth-seeded Pacific in overtime, 59-51.
Pacific (1-2) held a 46-43 lead with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold on.
Leading 46-45, Pacific made one of two free throws to make it a two-point lead with eight seconds left.
Carnahan quickly took the ball up the court, missed its first shot, but senior guard Raymond Holmes grabbed the offensive rebound and scored as time ran out, sending the game into overtime, 47-47.
“I was going to take a timeout if we made the second free throw to set up our defense. After we made the first one, you don’t want to call a timeout and ice your shooter,” said Pacific Head Coach John VanLeer. “After we missed the second free throw, we let their guy drive the lane to the basket. One of our kids came over to help and didn’t get back to block out. That’s how it usually happens. It’s not usually the first shot, but the put back.”
The Cougars outscored the Indians in the four-minute extra session, 12-4.
“You saw our kids’ heads go down after the fourth quarter ended. I told them the game wasn’t over. They should’ve been excited to play four more minutes,” VanLeer said. “That basket gave them all the momentum and took the wind out of our sails.”
Cullen VanLeer led all scores in the game with 20 points for the Indians, going 8-10 from the foul line. He added six assists and five rebounds en route to being an all-tournament team selection.
Tanner Brown finished the game with 11 points.
Zeth Boyer collected eight points and six rebounds.
Jeffrey Hinkle, Logan Armstrong and Noah Boyer each scored four points.
Boyer added three assists. Hinkle had two rebounds and two assists. Brendan Jett-Kell also had two rebounds.
Neil DeBold, Brandon Colter and Stephen Watson also played.
Imani Reid paced Carnahan with 18 points. He was an all-tournament team selection.
Steven Baynham added 15 points. Trevor Roberts scored nine points. Holmes had eight points.
Carnahan jumped to a 7-0 lead and led 10-2 after one quarter.
Pacific pulled to within 20-15 midway through the second quarter and trailed 26-20 at halftime.
A three-pointer by Brown and baskets by Zeth Boyer and Hinkle sparked Pacific in the third quarter.
The Cougars still lead 33-28 heading into the final eight minutes.
The Indians controlled play in the fourth quarter, which allowed them to grab a three-point lead with 25 seconds left.
Zeth Boyer, Armstrong, Brown and VanLeer each had baskets during the run.
Carnahan took a 49-47 lead 13 seconds into overtime and never looked back.
“The tournament was as strong as I’ve ever seen it,” VanLeer said. “I don’t think we could have asked for a better first game against St. Louis Christian. We had to do fundamental things like block out and take care of the basketball. That helped us.