St. Viator wins wild triple OT game at Carmel

It took 44 minutes or what was equal to five and a half quarters of basketball, but visiting St. Viator was finally able to put Carmel Catholic away in triple overtime Friday night in East Suburban Catholic Conference action.

Both teams had their chances to win in regulation and in the first two overtimes. But the Lions (11-16, 5-8) came through when the chips were down in the third overtime to seal an exciting 73-68 ESCC victory in a rowdy atmosphere on senior night for the Corsairs.

The game was close from start to finish, tied at 9-9 after one quarter, 34-34 after three quarters, and 52-52 after four quarters as Carmel (10-18, 2-12) and the Lions both missed 3-pointers very late in regulation time.

The Corsairs jumped out to a quick 58-52 lead in the first overtime on a 3-point play by Noah LaMora. St. Viator forced the second overtime tied at 60-60 on a steal and basket by Ryan Jackson with a minute left in the extra session.

The second overtime was a defensive struggle with Carmel's Jacob Chajet (game-high 18 points) scoring on his own rebound with 1:24 left in that stanza to tie the score at 65-65.

The battle of attrition finally ended with the Lions outscoring Carmel 6-0 in the final 2:57 of the third OT on 4 points by Eli Aldana, and two free throws by Henry Marshall with 6.9 seconds to go.

"We knew coming in it was senior night and there was going to be a big crowd so they were obviously going to want to take it to us," said Aldana, whose team snapped a 4-game losing streak. "We came together as a team this past week, we were ready for this. And everyone kept their composure the whole time, it was a great game."

Aldana and teammate Brandyn Michaels scored 15 points each while Ryan Jackson had 11 points. The Corsairs got 13 points each from LaMora, James Dwyer, and Kaleb Jackson while Marshall and Ryan Camblin scored 9 points each for St. Viator's young team. Joey Hernandez had 8 points for the Lions before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

"I'm just really proud of our kids. We've had a tough stretch in the last four games with a couple of really close losses to some really good teams," said St. Viator coach Mike O'Keeffe. "We had two seniors, one junior, and four sophomores play the whole game and we had one starter (Dayvion Ellis) out sick."

Eleven different players hit 3-pointers in the wild contest. Carmel coach Dmitry Pirshin pointed to turnovers and free throw shooting as the difference in the outcome.

"When Peter Stavros and LaMora fouled out it was hard," said Pirshin. "We're not there yet, and we're not finishing yet. But we're in the games now and we have to learn how to finish games."

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