For nearly three and a half quarters, Owensboro Catholic withstood blow after blow as Owensboro tried to regain a pair of short-lived leads from earlier in the night. Finally, as the momentum shifted totally in their favor, the Red Devils walked away with a 59-51 win over the Aces in 9th District boys’ basketball action Friday.
For the second time this season, Owensboro (8-6, 3-0) used a lockdown defense in the second half to pull away from Catholic (9-4, 2-1) in front of a packed house at the Sportscenter.
“Our defensive intensity picked up in the second half,” said Devils’ head coach Rod Drake. “We just went through the motions in the first half. In the second half, we gave them some problems.”
It was back-and-forth early, and a putback by Jaiden Greathouse gave OHS a 9-8 lead. At the other end, John Parker knocked down a 3-pointer for the Aces, and they threatened to pull away.
Catholic held a 15-9 advantage going into the second quarter, and they went up by as many as nine points when Drew Hartz drove in for a layup. Amari Wales hit a layup and Gavin Wimsatt converted an and-1 to close the gap to 30-24 at the break.
Drake said the offense didn’t get off to a good start, so they had to make some adjustments at halftime.
“We were just watching,” he said. “The ball didn’t move side-to-side. Guys were touching and shooting.”
Still, the Aces largely maintained a two-possession lead for much of the third quarter as both teams struggled to score. Down 37-31, Owensboro got a free throw from Greathouse and a pair of buckets from Darrion Wimsatt to only be down one point heading into the final frame.
Finally, with 4:55 to play, a pullup jumper by Wales put the Devils up 44-43, and they never looked back. Both defenses played tough and forced several turnovers down the stretch.
At one end, Owensboro was able to get to the rim and score down low. At the other, Catholic couldn’t get a shot to fall, missing from short and deep as well as at the free throw line.
Though Greathouse struggled at the line, he was able to knock down his last two free throws to cap off a big night in the paint. His rebounding and putbacks helped keep the Devils close and eventually get the win.
“He plays tough,” Drake said of Greathouse. “He’s a hard-nosed id. He gets all the loose ball.”
Owensboro will now return home Saturday to host Trinity at 3:30 p.m.
Catholic is on the road for a 4:30 game against John Hardin.
OHS: Gavin Wimsatt 14, Darrion Wimsatt 13, Jaiden Greathouse 11, Amari Wales 11, Aireon Phillips 6, Isaac Humphrey 3, Imonte Owsley 1
OCHS: John Parker 14, Ty Vincent 11, Peyton Survant 8, Drew Hartz 7, Andre Riney 4, Zach Cecil 4, Brian Griffith 2, Ji Webb 1