Boys Basketball: Garrett O’Neill lifts Brother Rice past ProvidenceProvidence Catholics Kevin Kozan (35) drives to the basket against Brother Rices Sean Fitzpatrick (21) during the first quarter in New Lenox Friday December, 2, 2011. |Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 2, 2011 11:14PM
Down four points with 30 seconds to play, Brother Rice guard Garrett O’Neill put the Crusaders on his back.
The senior hit a three-pointer to cut the Providence lead to one and then stole the ball on the ensuing press. O’Neill thought about firing a three right then and there, but pulled back to run some clock. A few passes later and the ball found its way back to him with eight seconds left. O’Neill drove and hit the go-ahead jumper in Brother Rice’s 45-44 Catholic League South win over Providence on Friday night in New Lenox.
“I owed it to my team after turning the ball over a lot,” said O’Neill, who finished with 14 points.
“If we lost that game it was on me, so I had to make something happen.”
The Crusaders (4-1, 1-0) needed a comeback after Providence stormed out of the intermission with a huge third quarter. With Brother Rice holding a nine-point lead at the half, the Celtics (2-2, 0-1) dominated the boards to take a 35-33 advantage heading into the final frame.
After playing only four minutes in the first half, Providence center Mike Marietti (15 points, 5 rebounds) led the surge with his physical play. The senior scored seven points in the first three minutes of the third quarter to ignite his team.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the guys for the way they fought back,” Providence coach Tim Trendel said. “I don’t know if it was our kids losing the game but more Brother Rice winning the game.”
Providence had a chance to steal the game at the buzzer, but a running jumper bounced off the back iron as time expired.
Kevin Kozan chipped in 12 points for the Celtics.