Boys Basketball Playoffs: Third time the charm as Brother Martin outlasts Holy Cross in overtime to reach state semifinals
NEW ORLEANS – The odds of one team beating an evenly-matched team three times in one season are not necessarily favorable.
No. 3 seed Holy Cross discovered it the hard way Friday night at home against No. 6 Brother Martin in the Division I boys basketball quarterfinals Friday night.
The Crusaders used outstanding free throw shooting throughout, particularly in overtime to outlast Holy Cross 60-57 in overtime in a game broadcast live at CrescentCitySports.com.
The Tigers had beaten the Crusaders 59-49 and 56-54 in District 9-5A play during the regular season.
In the overtime period Javier Perez made 5 of 6 free throws and Brother Martin sank 11 of 14 in the extra frame overall. In the game, Brother Martin made 21 of 27 free throws, outscoring the Tigers by 10 points at the charity stripe in perhaps the biggest factor in the victory.
“We did not shoot free throws well in the first two games against them and we came through big tonight at the line,” Brother Martin coach Chris Biehl said. “We fought through a lot of adversity tonight, a lot of injuries. We played without one of our starters and we made no excuses.”
T.J. Small led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds and sank 10 of 11 from the free throw line. Brother Martin won the battle of the boards 36-29.
“The first two times they got us and we had to get them back,” Small said. “It was as big game and we played hard. Coach emphasized a lot about rebounding and defense and that’s all we worked on.”
The Crusaders (18-16) started fast, going on an 8-0 run to take an 8-2 lead before Holy Cross closed to within 13-10 by the end of the quarter. T.J. Small had five points, sinking all five free throw attempts in the quarter to lead Brother Martin.
The Crusaders were able to extend the lead to 25-19 by halftime despite point guard Victor Tomlinson sitting for over a quarter with two fouls. Small finished the half with nine points and six rebounds while Dillon Delatte had six points and seven rebounds in the half.
The Tigers(27-7) began their comeback in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 38-35 as Jeremy Lindsey has seven points in the period.
The Tigers rallied in the final frame to take a 44-40 lead before Brother Martin went on a 6-0 run. Holy Cross tied it on a pair of free throws by Jeremy Lindsey.
With 0.3 seconds remaining, Delatte, who had 10 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out, was fouled but he missed both free throws, sending the game to overtime.
“I’m glad our guys picked up Dillon after those missed free throws,” Biehl said. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Dillon Delatte. Grant Delord stepped up with Brock Ranlett out tonight and played great basketball helping guard Kalil Thomas.”
Victor Tomlinson had 12 points for the Crusaders.
Thomas finished with 15 points and six rebounds while Lindsey had 15 points and three assists for Holy Cross. Tyler Beaver had 10 points and four rebounds before fouling out in overtime.
“They did a good job defensively,” Holy Cross coach Mister Kirkwood said. “They challenged our shots and we knew it was going to be tough to beat them a third time. We didn’t shoot free throws very well. They played a big part in that. Every time we went to the goal, they were contesting shots. That hasn’t happened to us all year like that. I’m not disappointed at all. This is a tough, tough league. You never can count a team out. They took two tough losses to us. They had something to play for. My hats off to them.”
Brother Martin will play No. 2 seed and Catholic League rival St. Augustine in the semifinals in Lake Charles next week. The Purple Knights downed no. 10 Archbishop Shaw 57-44. St. Augustine swept Brother Martin in three regular season games by scores of 61-38, 54-22 and 61-53.
The Crusaders are in the Final Four for the second time in three years. In 2017, Brother Martin reached the title game, losing a 53-52 thriller to Scotlandville. The two-time defending state champion and top-seeded Hornets are back in the semifinals as well after dismissing No. 8 John Curtis Christian 72-50 and will face No. 5 Catholic of Baton Rouge in the semifinals. The Bears downed No. 4 Jesuit 58-45.
Brother Martin is playing its best basketball of the season, having now won five straight games.
“Two years ago, we made it there (Lake Charles) and we didn’t go back the way we wanted but we are going to go back and we will fight,” Small said.
BM 13 12 13 8 14 — 60
HC 10 9 16 11 11 — 57
BM—T.J. Small 20, Victor Tomlinson 12, Dillon Delatte 10, Javier Perez 9, Grant DeLord 6, Peter Schneller 3
HC—Kalil Thomas 15, Jeremy Lindsey 15, Tyler Beaver 10, Jason Chan 8, Tyler Kirkwood 4, Aaron Ursin 3, Myles Sanders 2
BM 36, HC 28
BM 12, HC 11
Points off Turnovers
BM 14, HC 8
Points in the Paint
BM 30, HC 32
BM 19 of 46, HC 20 of 52
BM 1 of 12, HC 4 of 16
BM 21 of 27, HC 11 of 18
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…