Holy War III to East
By Sam and Tyler / March 4, 2008, 9:01 amROCKY HILL- Greeting us upon our arrival was a line of a couple hundred waiting to make their way into the Rocky Hill gymnasium. It was clear that that the NWC championship would be a drastically different atmosphere from that of the NWC semifinals just two days earlier, which featured a three quarters full gym and a crowd that was less than enthusiastic. We entered the gym, and already student contingents from both Northwest Catholic and East Catholic had established themselves in opposite corners of the court, like boxers in a ring. The stage was set for the third meeting of these rivals, and a pulsating energy throughout the crowd made it clear that this game would be one to remember.
After 1: East up 13-8.
Half: East 30-15.
Sitting in the crowd, you could sense Coach Mirabello would inspire his team to make this one tight and his leader started to kick it into higher gear. Christ Prescott opened the second half with a driving lay-up to cut into the Eagle lead. What looked like the ignition to a comeback, was just a bluff, as East stretched their lead to as many as 18, before finishing the quarter with a 46-32 advantage. Nick Greenbacker continued to dominate the paint, giving Julian Harris fits and baffling other defenders standing in his way. Most probably thought this one was over, but Prescott had other ideas.
Prescott capped an 8-2 run with a two handed dunk and Northwest was within 8. The Indians pressure continued to force East catholic turnovers and after two free throws and a lay up, the score was 48-44. As Northwest fans danced and yelled, East fans looked stunned and could not find any answers. Nick Greenbacker, who was named tournament MVP, answered with a nice post move and he continued to assert himself down low. In the blink of an eye, Northwest turnovers gave East easy buckets and the lead was back to 10. Prescott hit one of his four second half 3’s to make it 56-49. He followed with a driving lay-up, but Northwest’s momentum would swing quickly. A timeout was called, and with Northwest having exhausted its timeouts previously, Jerome Harris converted the technical into two points. East kept possession and before it in-bounded, Prescott was charged with his 5th personal, sending the senior to the bench. There, he watched his team get no closer, as East hit big free throws and won the Northwest Conference Tournament 64-58. Congratulations to Coach Reilly and his club, as they look to make another run in the LL tourny.
Tonight was just the start of what should be an exciting next couple of weeks. As conference tournaments come to a close this week, high school basketball fans will set there sights on the state tournament brackets. In all classes, LL to S, there can be found talent, and potential match-ups that will likely prove to be classics. State tournament time can be a hoop junkie’s playground as there are seemingly extraordinary games played on a nightly basis in every corner of the state. We will cover these games through to their respective title match ups, look to us for our thoughts and opinions as tournament time progresses.
Sam and Tyler