December 8, 2004
Seton Catholic boys basketball coach Hosea Graham knew his team was a little tired playing its fifth game in six days. But he didn't expect his team to take a break in the middle of its home game Tuesday night against 3A South Region rival Higley.
After grabbing a nine-point lead early in the second quarter, the Sentinels plodded their way along and watched as the Knights caught up and passed them in the third quarter. But losing the lead served to wake up the Seton defense as it held Higley to just seven shot attempts in the fourth quarter and the Sentinels made some key plays down the stretch to pull out a 50-48 win.
"We were like a half a step slower than we usually are," said Graham. "They just made up for it with heart on defense and hustle."
That hustle, and some breaks, helped the Sentinels (6-0, 1-0 3A South) pull the game out in the fourth quarter.
Higley's first lead was at 36-35 with 1:43 left in the third quarter and the Knights led 38-37 going into the fourth. The Knights (3-2, 0-1) had their biggest lead of the night at 47-43 when Reggie Riley hit his fifth and final 3-pointer of the night.
After the shot went in, Higley was whistled for a delay of game technical, and when Josh Wagner hit both free throws, the Knights' momentum was ended.
Seton put on a man-to-man press in the fourth quarter and the Knights struggled to handle it.
"When we go man-to-man, it will turn up our intensity," said Graham. "That's what I knew we needed to carry us through."
Michael Harty hit a driving shot to tie the game at 47-47 with 1:30 left. After both teams failed on offensive possessions, Higley had the ball and was setting up its offense when Harty made a steal and was fouled with 43.4 seconds to play.
He made two free throws to give Seton the lead at 49-47.
"Our conditioning really helped us there at the end," said Harty, who scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half. "Our defense was really great. We put the pressure on them and they kind of backed down and we stepped up."
Riley led Higley with 16 points. Chris Bovert added 14 points and Swanson had 12.