Guerin Catholic’s boys basketball team spoiled another Madison County opponent’s Senior Night Tuesday night, as Jack Hansen scored a go-ahead basket with 6.7 seconds remaining to cap an 18-point night in leading the Golden Eagles over Anderson 59-57. It was the regular season finale for both basketball squads. Friday Pendleton Heights was beaten at home 71-64 by the Purple and Gold as well.
The Golden Eagles led by as many as 10 points in the second quarter and by nine at the end of the third quarter before Anderson mounted a furious rally, looking as if they were going to defend their home court, named The Tipi, The Golden Eagles have never lost to Anderson since the historic 8,900-seat WigWam closed in 2011 in seven tries.
CG started the fourth quarter actually with a chance to go up 11 after a defensive stop. However after a steal they missed a contested lay-up, and the momentum shifted drastically. The Tribe came down off the missed lay-up and drained a 3-pt. shot, one of eleven made by them in the contest. That began a 14-2 fourth quarter run by AHS that thrust them into a 52-49 lead before the Golden Eagles knew what hit them. “They got it going, and we couldn’t get out of our own way for a lot of the fourth quarter,” said GC Mentor Pete Smith. “We’d controlled the second and third quarters pretty well, but got in a bad funk and boy they got it goin’ with a dunk and some transition 3-pointers.”
Five straight free throws on three possessions game Anderson a 57-52 lead. However Kian Sills made the two biggest plays of the evening to give the Golden Eagles the chance to earn the victory.
Sills first drained a 3-point shot on a pressbreaker to pull GC within two at 57-55 with 1:57 to play. Anderson was patient and looked for a lay-up or to draw a foul on the ensuing possession. But with 1:17 left Sills made his eighth steal of the game, and the junior guard raced in for a lay-up to tie the score at 57.
Anderson then worked the basketball around the perimeter and drove the baseline. Hansen tried to draw a charge on an AHS player, and the result was a Luke Godfrey steal and time-out with :47 left. Smith called on his team to hold the ball for the final forty seconds before Hansen’s heroics on perfectly executed play. After an Anderson time-out, GC employed a full-court press and the Indians forced a half-court shot at the buzzer that barely drew iron.
Sills scored 17 points and Zach Munson added 12 points to support Hansen’s solid game. Smith mentioned that his team valued the basketball better than in recent games, committing only six turnovers against the pesky Anderson pressure defense. Uncharacteristically his team was outrebounded 34-25 by the Tribe, making the turnover statistic look paramount in the outcome of the game. Smith praised point guard Clay Hepp and Sills for their decision-making with the basketball. Anderson committed 15 turnovers, including five in the final stanza.
Guerin Catholic finishes 15-8 on the regular season. They return to 3A play this season after two seasons of playing in the IHSAA’s 4A state tournament. GCHS will host Sectional 27 this season, and consequently will host Circle City Conference rival Bishop Chatard next Tuesday as their 7-team sectional gets underway.