Wildcats Beat Eagles in Another Overtime Battle
St. Edward and St. Ignatius faced each other on Friday Night at the Eagles Nest in a rematch of last month’s thrilling Wildcat win at Sullivan Gym. It was another intense contest in front of a raucus capacity crowd. As in the January game, Wildcat senior Matt Davet led all scorers, this time with 31 points. Senior Austen Yarian contributed 19 for St. Ignatius, including many key buckets in the closing minutes. The Eagles were led by Senior Thomas Schmock, who had 23 points.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening three minutes of the game, as senior Michael Spear scored a quick five points. Schmock sparked an Eagle rally, scoring 12 points in just over two minutes to build an 18-11 St. Edward lead. The Eagles held their lead for the rest of the first half, going to the locker room with ahead 37-30. Junior William Henry hit a buzzer beater at the end of both the first and second quarter to provide five points of the Eagles margin.
St. Edward stretched the lead to double digits in the third quarter, taking a 45-34 lead at the 6:16 mark on an Emmett Chambers three pointer. The Wildcats seemed to be staggered, but Davet refused to let the Eagles pull away. He scored ten points in the third quarter to keep the game within striking distance. St. Ignatius narrowed the lead to 55-50 by the end of the third quarter.
The scoring pace slowed at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but St. Edward was able to widen the lead. Chambers hit a pair of free throws to make the score 61-52 with four minutes left to play. Senior Devin Jackson then hit a clutch three pointer for the Wildcats, closing the margin to 6 points. Yarian then went on a tear, scoring nine points in the final 3:05. After four quarters the score was tied at 65, and Wildcats carried momentum into overtime.
The Wildcats scored the first four points of extra session, and had the Eagles on the ropes with under two minutes to play. Huffman then hit a free throw for St. Edward, then missed his second. H followed the missed shot and scored a put-back basket with 1:34 left in the game. Eagle fans erupted, as their team was back to within one point. Schmock tied the game at 69 with a free throw with one minute remaining, setting up a nail-biting finish.
Yarian scored a basket with 44 seconds left to give the Wildcats a 71-69 lead. Schmock responded ten seconds later with a three pointer, and the Eagles regained the lead at 72-71. Yarian then scored the game-winner with 19 seconds left, putting Ignatius up by one. The Wildcats stopped the Eagles final possession in the closing seconds, then added a couple of free throws to close the game 75-72.
St. Ignatius sweeps the regular season series between the schools. St. Edward will host Cleveland JFK next Friday on Senior Recognition Night. The OHSAA tournament draw is scheduled for Sunday. Both of these schools will be in the Strongville bracket – the Eagles are hoping for another rematch.
Mike Deneen has extensive experience covering sports and community stories for the Lakewood Observer. Mike has been a Senior Industry Analyst for the Freedonia Group in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1998. He has appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell, NPR’s MarketPlace and has been quoted multiple times in The Wall Street Journal. He has made multiple guest appearances on ESPN Cleveland radio. Mike also writes for Inside Northwestern, a website that covers Northwestern Wildcat Athletics. You can reach him on Twitter at @MikeDeneen1