Cavs shoot down Comets in waning seconds

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2008


Sports Editor

His game resembled more Clark Kent than Superman in a first half in which he scored no points. But as far as De La Salle was concerned, junior guard Karl Perry may as well have donned the ‘S’ on his chest by night’s end.

“I feel like the hero,” Perry said.

His 3-pointer with two seconds left in overtime gave his Cavaliers a 48-45 lead over St. Charles on Tuesday night. A desperation 3-point heave by the Comets’ Jesse Coleman came up short moments later, clinching a pre-Christmas victory for De La Salle in LaPlace.

“I was looking over to the corner, and I saw someone open,” said Perry. “But I had the shot too, so I took it. I was a little off-balance.”

Perry hit two baskets in the game — both in overtime, making up his team’s final five points.

Coleman’s deep 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in regulation tied the score at 39.

With the game tied at 45, St. Charles had the ball with 30-seconds left and a chance to score the go-ahead basket. But a Coleman pass into the lane was intercepted by De La Salle’s Joey Wheeler, setting up Perry’s final shot.

“I thought we had a better chance if we came out and ran our offense, looking for a quality shot, than if we held it and gave them a chance to play defense for one play at the very end,” said St. Charles Coach Chris Perrone.

“Jesse made the correct pass, we had someone open underneath. But their guy made a solid play. If he doesn’t make a play, I think we win the game.”

St. Charles (5-6) was without point guard DeMarcus Bernard, who injured his ankle in the first week of December. But for awhile, it looked like the Comet defense would be enough for the team to pull through.

De La Salle (7-10) struggled mightily on offense in the first half, only scoring three first quarter points and 10 for the entire first half. A John Williams put back capped an 8-2 run by St. Charles that closed the second quarter and gave the Comets a 20-10 halftime lead.

“We kept turning it over, constantly making bad passes,” said De La Salle Coach Richard Neider. “In the second half, we made much better decisions and reads.”

It added up quickly from the Cavaliers. Three quick De La Salle buckets in the first 1:40 of the third quarter cut the St. Charles lead in half, making it 22-17.

DLS’ Brainard Crump made a layup to cut the deficit to 24-21. An offensive foul wiped out a reverse layup by the Comets’ Gabe Corchiani, paving the way for a game-tying 3-pointer by Joey Wheeler. The Comets’ Birch Matus scored at the other end off of a pass from Zach Goodwin, but a second Wheeler 3 gave De La Salle a 27-26 lead.

What seemed like a low-scoring, grind it out affair quickly turned into a game of “Can you top this?”

“From that point, it was just back and forth the entire way,” said Perrone.

SCC led 30-27 to begin the fourth quarter, but two 3-pointers by Sean Martin fueled a 12-4 De La Salle run that gave DLS a 39-34 lead with 2:40 remaining in regulation.

A Williams put back made it a 3-point game with 1:39 left. That score would hold until Coleman’s game-tying 3 splashed through with 10-seconds remaining.

“That must have been a 29, 30-foot shot. He had to make a great shot to even get us to overtime,” said Perrone.

Matus led the Comets with 13 points. Goodwin added seven.

Meanwhile, Crump led the Cavaliers with 15 points. Martin chipped in 13.

ST. CHARLES 54, SHAW 46 — The Comets got a payback win on Monday. A little over two weeks after a loss to Shaw at the CYO Tournament in New Orleans, St. Charles fired back to post an eight point victory at home.

Matus led St. Charles with 23 points and nine rebounds. He was also 7-of-7 at the foul line. Goodwin added 13 points and eight rebounds.

10 of the Comets 16 field goals came off of an assist.

St. Charles held Shaw’s John Cotton, who lit SCC up for 29 points in the first meeting between the teams, to only 12 points.

The Comets outscored the Eagles 20-12 in the fourth quarter, after the teams entered the final period tied at 34.