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Walsh Wins A Wild One

by jpolicastro
Mon, Jan 9th 2017 01:00 pm

Big 30 Basketball: Walsh wins a wild one

 By SHAWN CAMPBELL, Olean Times Herald


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OLEAN — With the crowd in a frenzy, the game's heroes punctuated the improbable performance with an exclamation point.

Tavien Kemp corralled the rebound after a potential game-tying 3-pointer by St. Mary's of Lancaster missed short. The senior guard then pushed the ball upcourt to Serbian exchange student Slobodan Stojanovic for a lay-in at the buzzer.

The scoreboard showed a 73-68 victory for Archbishop Walsh's boys basketball team Sunday afternoon. But it wasn't that simple.

"It was a crazy game," said Eagles coach Andy Moore, searching for the right words.

Walsh dug an 11-0 hole in the first 3 1/2 minutes, took an 11-point lead in the third quarter and trailed St. Mary's 67-60 with 1:32 to play.

The Lancers led 68-62 with 1:11 remaining. But in those 71 ticks, the Eagles scored 11 straight points — five each from Kemp and Stojanovic — in a memorable Monsignor Martin matinee.

"We kept making plays," said Kemp, whose latest masterful scoring effort totaled 46 points. "We calmed down a little bit. It got a little out of control, the fans were getting into it, but we just stayed calm and played our game."

Moore would've been more surprised had he not seen such a rally before.

"It was the same at Portville the second game of the year," the coach said. "We were down six right at a minute and we scored 10 straight points" and won 54-52.

Four turnovers in the final 75 seconds doomed St. Mary's (6-3, 1-2). The Lancers entered ranked No. 16 in the state in Class B, while Walsh (6-1, 2-0) was an honorable mention.

Kemp turned in his third straight game of 40 or more points, upping his Big 30-leading average to 38. He and his brother, junior Latrell Butler-Kemp (20 points), combined for 66 of the Eagles' points.

But the game's biggest shot came elsewhere.

After a St. Mary's double dribble, Stojanovic banked in a 3-pointer from the left wing, pulling Walsh within 68-67 with 1:03 left.

The Lancers then traveled. Kemp was fouled while receiving the ensuing inbounds pass and went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line with 40.7 seconds left, giving the Eagles the lead, 69-68.

Stojanovic, one of the Eagles' two foreign exchange student starters with no prior organized basketball experience, scored all seven of his points in the fourth quarter. His banked three had the gym roaring and swung the momentum Walsh's way.

"I TALKED to him after halftime," Kemp said. "He had passed up a few open shots and I was just like, 'Hey, we're going to need you to hit one soon, so don't be scared to take it.' Sure enough, he stepped up."

Moore said: "At that time, it was the right shot. We needed a shot from someone other than those two (Kemp and Butler-Kemp) and he made it. Whatever, it banked in. We lost to them two years ago at home and a kid from St. Mary's banked in a three just like that, and that was the difference in the game. It works itself out, I guess."

Walsh won a physical battle in which three technical fouls were assessed.

Three third-quarter 3-pointers by Butler-Kemp helped the Eagles go up by as many as 11 points. But in the fourth, the Lancers rallied as Eric Brown scored nine of his 22 points. Brown tallied five straight off two steals, turning a three-point deficit into a two-point lead for the Lancers in a matter of 10 seconds. Then after a missed Walsh layup, and a hard collision under the basket but no whistle, St. Mary's Frank Propis drained a 3-pointer in transition to make it an 8-0 run in 20 seconds for the Lancers, who led 57-52 with 5:27 left.

"We fought like crazy to get back into it," St. Mary's coach Paul Rath said. "To give it up like that, it's a stinger."

The Lancers threw multiple defensive looks at Kemp, who in turn weaved his way through defenders and drew fouls. He went 15-for-19 from the line — 5-for-6 during Walsh's game-ending run.

During a timeout in the fourth quarter, Rath asked his players, "How is Tavien Kemp getting around three guys?"

A Walsh fan's reply? "Because he's Tavien Kemp."

"Defensively, you can't give up the sideline to Tavien Kemp," Rath said. "We probably gave it up 20 times today and then he would just take it in for the layup, and we had two guys on him."

"Tavien's playing with just unbelievable confidence right now," Moore said.

More impressive, Kemp and his brother played through cramps in the fourth quarter.

"They're expending a ton of energy," Moore said. "They never come out of the game. I try to use my timeouts to rest them. Then they're double-, triple-teaming Tavien. ... For them to fight through all of that and then be able to make some plays at the end, it was huge."

St. Mary's-Lancaster (68)

Penska 1 0-0 2, Brown 8 5-6 22, Hunt 4 2-2 11, Tyka 0 0-2 0, O'Brien 1 0-0 2, Propis 3 0-0 8, Ciezski 3 2-3 8, Szablewski 5 3-3 13, Poland 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 12-16 68.

Archbishop Walsh (73)

Kemp 14 15-19 46, Ramadhan 0 0-0 0, Butler-Kemp 6 4-6 20, Oren 0 0-0 0, Stojanovic 3 0-0 7. Totals: 23 19-25 73.

St. Mary's-Lancaster 17 26 45 68

Archbishop Walsh 15 31 48 73

Three-point goals: St. Mary's 4 (Propis 2, Brown, Hunt); Walsh 8 (Butler-Kemp 4, Kemp 3, Stojanovic). Total fouls: St. Mary's 22, Walsh 15. Fouled out: None. 


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