The game had both teams scoring on almost every possession and also sending their opponents to the line for easy points that led to a 66-64 victory for Sheldon’s 6A Irish over Marist’s 5A Spartans in a non-conference match-up.
The game-winning layup came from Sheldon’s junior point guard, Connor Strahm in the last 10 seconds of the game after both teams tried to gain control of the clock with multiple time-outs.
Fouls and missed shots at the hoop would keep the pace and score slow and low and with both teams vying for control of the court.
The first half saw Marist out-handling and out-scoring the Irish for what would seem like a setup for a victory over Sheldon, but the Irish came back with a vengeance in the 3rd quarter with the Spartans fighting hard to keep their first half lead of nine points.
Coming back from the half, Sheldon would push hard and score 10 points in four minutes, closing in on Marist’s lead to close the gap to five points with Sheldon’s sophomore guard Jordan Alexander hitting a two-point jump-shot from the key, giving the Irish a much needed boost to their momentum.
Shortly after, Irish senior post Dale Baker would hit another 2-points and draw a foul on Sheldon’s return to their side of the court for a total of three.
After a back-and-forth string of scoring plays for both teams, Sheldon would eventually tie the game 41-41 with two minutes left in the 3rd.
The 3rd would end with Sheldon up 47-46 over the Spartans.
Going into the fourth, both teams would frantically attempt to keep control of a game that led to both teams each scoring over 20 points in eight minutes.
Every trip to each team’s side of the court led to two and three point shots, fouls, and turnovers that would turn the game into a frenetic battle for victory.
With 1:59 remaining in the 4th, Strahm would steal the ball mid pass and drive to the hoop to score two points and put the Irish over the top with a 1-point lead — a play that was immediately answered by a 3-pointer by Marist; which, in turn, would put the Spartans up by two, 61-59.
Another exchange of back-and-forth shots and fouls would see the game tied 64-64 with 12.8 seconds remaining in the 4th.
After repeated time-outs, Sheldon’s Strahm would gain possession and drive in two-points for a victory for the Spartans.
-Story and Photos by Brett Stanley