Evansville Bosse and Owensboro Catholic put on one of the best high school basketball games of the season in either locale.
Bosse got a driving layup from Matthew Wagner that left his hand just before the final buzzer to lift the Bulldogs to an 82-80 win at the Sportscenter.
Bosse is 14-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class 3-A in Indiana.
Two free throws by Luke Scales tied the game at 80 with 3.5 seconds left, then came Wagner’s run down the court.
“It was just a great high school basketball game,” Catholic coach Tim Riley said. “It’s one of the best regular season games I’ve ever been involved with. You build on this. You’d love to win that game. But, now if our kids don’t understand, we’ve got a good basketball team and we need to build off this.”
One of the main building blocks for the Aces was Ji Webb, who finished with 34 points and seven rebounds, and he was nearly unstoppable if he made a clean catch on the low block.
Webb played with four fouls over the last seven minutes of regulation and all three overtime periods.
“Ji Webb is a dominant force,” Riley said. “He always is a matchup problem. He’s a special guy if he wants to be. When he brings his A game, he’s a special player. Griffin is too.”
Brian Griffith had a tough first quarter, but he kept plugging on the way to 23 points, seven assists and two steals.
“They put a lot of effort into Griff early, then they put a lot of effort into Ji late,” Riley said of Bosse’s defensive strategy. “Early they were all about doubling Griff every chance they got.”
Bosse was led by Julian Norris’ 29 points and it got 26 more from Wagner.
Catholic erased an 11-point Bosse lead in the last six minutes of regulation. A spin move and jumper from Griffith got Catholic to the first overtime, tied 57-all.
A Norris 3 got Bosse to the second overtime at 66-all. Webb made 1-of-2 free throws to push Catholic ahead 75-74, then Wagner made 1-of-2 free throws with three seconds left to tie it at 75 and send the game to a third overtime.
Bosse was out of sync offensively in the first half, making just 6-of-25 shots from the floor. Bosse was 0-for-6 on 3s in the first half.
The Bulldogs corrected those problems in the second half.
Wagner made four 3-pointers in the third quarter and that helped ignite Bosse to 10-of-16 for 62.5% shooting from 3-point range in the second half. Bosse made 20-of-33 from the floor in the second half for 60%.
“They didn’t make shots in the first half,” Riley said. “In the second half they made a bunch of big shots. Our kids played their hearts out. That’s the number 2 team in 3-A, the state of Indiana, that’s a heck of an undefeated team.
“In this year that you never know what’s going to happen with COVID, it was a great night to have. It’s something a lot of them will talk about for years, these kids who played in this game.”
Catholic didn’t miss much, hitting 31-of-47 for the game unofficially for 65.9%.
Catholic was 15-of-26 from the free-throw line, and it missed seven free throws in the fourth quarter and the overtime periods. The Aces were 1-of-6 from 3-point range.
Sam McFarland finished with 12 rebounds for Catholic.
EVANSVILLE BOSSE8-11-29-9-9-9-7 — 82
OWENSBORO CATHOLIC10-19-12-16-9-9-5 — 80
Evansville Bosse (82) — Norris 29, Wagner 26, Ajibade 9, Burton 9, Nunn 6, Howell 3.
Owensboro Catholic (80) — Webb 34, Griffith 23, Weaver 8, McFarland 8, Scales 5, Gray 2.