Round 1: Skyhawks beat Cardinals in OT
Woods got the Skyhawks (19-5, 5-1) started with a three-pointer less than 30 seconds into the game to take the first lead, but Hunter Gatling answered for the Cardinals with a three from the corner. After Zakki Parker and Xavier McDaniel traded baskets, Charles- Eddie Smith took over, scoring the next 11 points in fewer than two minutes to give Cardinal Newman (17-8, 5- 2) a 16- 5 lead before Woods stemmed the tide with his second basket. Joseph Armstrong scored with just over two minutes remaining to push the lead back to 11, but Chevez Goodwin and McDaniel scored baskets before the end of the period to cut the deficit to 18-11.
Smith hit back-toback threes for the Cardinals to open the second quarter around a Lucas Prickett three for Hammond to open the lead back to 10 at 24-14. Hammond scored the next six points, including consecutive offensive putbacks by Goodwin—a running theme in this game—to whittle the lead down to four, but a Goodwin goaltending call started a Cardinal 9-0 run, stretching the lead to 33-20. Goodwin scored a pair of free throws off another offensive rebound, and Woods stole an errant Cardinal pass and threw down the first of three dunks in the game to trim the lead to nine. Cardinal Newman went into intermission with a 33-24 lead.
D.J. Halfacre scored on a layup to give the Cardinals an 11-point lead, but Hammond went on an 8-0 run, punctuated by Woods’ second dunk, to cut the deficit to three. But Cardinal Newman went on a 7-0 run over the next two minutes as the lead bulged back to 10. Spencer Carlson scored the next two baskets for Hammond before Smith made a short jumper with 18 seconds left to give the Cardinals a 44-36 lead going into the fourth quarter.
McDaniel scored seven of the first eight points of the quarter as Hammond tied the game at 44-44 with 4:24 remaining. But Smith hit his seventh three-pointer to give the Cardinals a threepoint lead. Woods tied it with a free throw and an offensive putback, then, after Smith hit a jumper, Woods put back another offensive rebound—Hammond had 16 of those—to tie the score at 49-49 with 2:17 remaining.
A McDaniel offensive putback gave Hammond its first lead since the opening minute, but Sam Lake hit a three to put CN back in the lead. Goodwin made a shot with 17 seconds remaining to give the Skyhawks the one-point lead.
Goodwin was fouled with 8.7 seconds left and made one of two for Hammond, and Parker raced the ball down the court and fed Armstrong in the post, who put the soft shot off glass with less than a second remaining to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Woods hit a jumper and then scored his third dunk— this one off a Goodwin steal—as Hammond raced out to a fourpoint lead in overtime. Parker and Halfacre combined for three free throws to pull the Cardinals within one, then McDaniel was fouled and hit the first free throw; the second went out of bounds to the Skyhawks. But McDaniel was called for an offensive foul seconds later, giving the ball back to the Cardinals.
An errant pass gave the ball back to Hammond, and Woods hit two foul shots to push the lead back to four. Armstrong cut the lead to two with a pair of free throws after an offensive rebound, but Woods scored a layup to put Hammond back up four. McDaniel then blocked a shot, and Carlson hit one of two shots to put the Skyhawks up five. Lake hit a three to pull CN within two with 25 seconds left, but Woods hit two free throws and then blocked a shot. Carlson hit another free throw with 14.6 left to push the lead back to five. Then Smith was fouled on a three-point attempt and hit all three shots to give the Cardinals hope with 9.4 seconds left, but Woods iced the game with two free throws with 8.0 seconds remaining.
Woods had seven rebounds and four assists to go with his 28 points, and Goodwin had a double double of 14 points and 12 boards. McDaniel had 14 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks for the Skyhawks. Smith led Cardinal Newman with 32 points, but he was the only Cardinal in double figures.