Official postgame comment from Reed: “Holy Cross’ 1-3-1 defense] certainly caused a lot of problems for us,” said Reed. “We tried to replicate it and took different strategies in practice to replicate it, but unfortunately, I don’t think we were as assertive and aggressive against it as we needed to. Because of that, we were in a more passive stance with some of our turnovers and balls were getting deflected. It wasn’t until our guards really started to probe and penetrate that we were able to get more of the looks that we wanted. That’s something we wanted to have as part of our attack. Unfortunately, we didn’t do it quickly enough.”
Like others who hit the Board, I’m dismayed we couldn’t execute against the 1-3-1. Little to add other than to say, knowing the pedigree of our coaching staff, the knowhow had to have been imparted but it was the execution that came up sorely lacking for all the reasons given above by 90 and others.
Like 90, I drove the 90 miles to home without even remembering a single signpost along the way. Scary but true. Completely bummed-out and replayed the last 25+ seconds over and over in my mind wondering “what if” Malachi didn’t make both his free throws (his 9th point in a row) with 25.6 seconds remaining and we needed only 1 (if he misses them both) or 2 (if he makes one of two) to tie or even win. We would have for sure somehow found a way to get the ball into TK’s hands. But, the 60+% free throw shooter canned them both and it was now all about making a three to tie. So we found KL (40% long range shooter) for an open three. He misses it not once but twice in the final sequence. KR came up empty twice, as well. Ball game. HC advances and deserving so. You win four on the road over Seeds 8, 1, 4, and 2 in a 9 day period of time, you’re special. Good luck in Dayton, Crusaders.
Other than the play of TK, our 3’s had been our bread and butter all season (#1 in the League @ .404). Last night, call it being tight or perhaps inexperienced in the case of KL, the long range shots didn’t fall. We hit just 8 (1 in the first half) all night for .308%. Jesse had but one try all night and he connected on it. When it became apparent it wasn’t to be Kyle’s night, or for that matter AP’s, I was hoping to see Jesse step up. But, for what seemed like extended minutes at a time, he rode the bench, and when inserted into the lineup appeared to shy away from the opportunities. Or perhaps better yet, lacked the quickness and determination to pull the trigger – not once but a few times during the game. On the other end of the court, you had Malachi hitting 6 of 7 bombs and the Crusaders as a whole canning 11 of 29 (.379). Their PL season-long # had been .299. You live and die with the “3,” they say. So true.
All-time record b’ball crowd of 4,587. Student section stretched to the ceiling. Noise level off the charts. You had to be there. Truly awesome. Here’s hoping the students and area fans remember the experience and return in force next year. Tim is a one of a kind type player and, togehter with a great accomnpanying case, the team deserves and will welcome, I know, our support.
To our departing seniors (JC, JG, JRG, and DC): sorry we couldn’t have extended your stay another day. Best wishes to all in your chosen careers and thanks for the memories. Much deserved success to you all.