Boys Basketball: Carmel tops Benet in OT thrillerNick Mankowski (12) of Benet Academy drives past Zennen Davis-McKennie of Carmel. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 7, 2012 12:38AM
Now Carmel knows it can get the job done.
When the horn finally sounded in its East Suburban Catholic battle with Benet on Friday, the Corsairs emerged with a 44-39 overtime victory.
“Maybe this right here hopefully will say, ‘You can do it,’” Carmel coach Tim Bowen said. “Especially a close one against a team like (Benet). …We now know we can do it.”
The Redwings led 22-14 at halftime and looked poised to win the game in the final minutes. Benet turned a 29-28 lead into a 34-28 advantage courtesy of a Pat McInerney (seven points) two and a John Enochs three-pointer.
Carmel’s Nickai Poyser (11 points) drained a three-pointer of his own with 2:28 remaining to cut the gap to 35-32 Benet and later tied the game by splitting a pair of free throws in the final minute.
From there, the game went to overtime and Brandon Motzel (16 points) took over as a prime-time scorer. Motzel converted back-to-back layups to give Carmel (6-7, 1-1) its first leads since the first quarter at 37-35 and 39-36.
His clutch baskets set the stage for the game’s last-second heroics.
First, McInerney knocked down a game-tying three-pointer for the Redwings (11-4, 0-1) to knot the game at 39-all. Then, seconds later, sophomore Ian Kristan buried a three-pointer — his only basket of the game — to give Carmel a 42-39 lead. The Corsairs added two late foul shots to pad the lead and held on for the upset victory.
“We had to come back and put together a good offensive possession and pull it out,” Kristan said. “I knew we could do it once they tied it up. All we had to do was just come down and get a good look.”
Neither team displayed an artistic offensive game, though Carmel did hit seven three-pointers. The Corsairs shot 32 percent (13 of 41) from the field and 48 percent from the free-throw line.
Benet finished the night 14-for-48 from the field and 7 of 21 from the so-called charity stripe.
“We shoot (below 30 percent) from the field and we shoot 33 percent from the foul line, it’s hard to win,” Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said. “Our kids battled, our kids fought, but we just didn’t play well enough to win. I give Carmel credit for that and obviously, we have to play better and clean some things up.”
Sophomore post presence Sean O’Mara led Benet with 14 points, nine rebounds and six blocks. McInerney proved clutch in his first game back from a broken right wrist.
“That was a big shot, it tied it up, but we didn’t get a stop on defense, which was what we needed to get,” McInerney said of his clutch three-pointer and the OT sequence of events. “We build (our team) on defense, our team philosophy starts on defense and we couldn’t get a stop when we needed it. That proved to be the difference.”
Heidkamp said he was pleased overall with his team’s defensive effort.