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Game of the Year: Hoban vs. St. Vincent St. Mary

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Akron, OH: The only thing that the Hoban family lost on Tuesday night was its voice. As the student section rocked, the Knights rolled to their first victory against rival St. Vincent-St. Mary since Dec. 11, 2012, as well as the first home victory since the 1996-97 season. Dubbed the game of the year, the event into double overtime with senior guard Garrett Houser scoring the game-winning basket with one second left. The student section stormed the court immediately in jubilation.

The largest margin of separation was just a mere seven points when St.V-M opened up with a 7-0 run, yet Hoban stormed back in the second quarter. Hoban’s saviors were Houser, who not only had the game-winning bucket, but added seven assists and 16 points, and his counterpart Collen Gurley who offered up seven assists and 29 points.

The low-scoring affair was dripping with drama from tip-off to the final buzzer. Before the game even started, the student sections were going back and forth with creative chants which the Hoban section echoing St. V-M’s record of 9-7. Student section traded jeers all night.  Dom Moegerle, a transfer, provided a defensive and rebounding lift for the Knights. His second quarter silenced the north side of the gym as the Knights went into the locker room 26-20, allowing only six points on the quarter.

The game continued to sway back and forth throughout the third and into the fourth quarters. As the game continued into overtime,  Gurley put the Knights ahead by knocking down two three-pointers from the corner that were assisted by Houser. Despite the hot start, St. V-M’s senior guard Scott Walter cooled the flames to knot the game up at 61, forcing the latter of the two overtimes.

With 12 seconds remaining, St V-M’s forward Lunden McDay converted on a tough layup that tied the game at 65, and with 12 seconds left, Houser needed only 11 of them. Hoban coach T.K. Griffith said that the play called was “Bama.” An isolation play for Houser put him one-on-one with his defender. Needless to say, Houser won his match-up.

“I’ve never seen so many guys emotional and crying after a win in my life, I guess I forgot how much this meant to them,” a no longer dry eyed T.K. Griffith said. “It’s hard to explain but when you see guys in there bawling like they had lost after you’d just won, it’s pretty cool. It’s a special moment to be a high school coach in those scenarios,” he continued with a genuinely joyful grin across his face.

St. Vincent-St. Mary coach Dru Joyce, on the other hand, placed the blame on his team’s on missed free throws, youth and a rigorous January.

 

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