Knights take Kennedy Catholic to double OT in consolation game loss

The way Eisenhower and Kennedy Catholic played Friday night, it was fitting that the game couldn’t be decided in four quarters.

In the end, Kennedy Catholic won a 66-62 double-overtime thriller over the Knights in the District 10 Class A third-place game at Edinboro’s McComb Fieldhouse. The loss ends Ike’s season with a record of 14-10 overall.

The Knights trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half.

“They did everything a coach could have wanted,” said Eisenhower coach Dave Allenson. “They gave it their all and played hard the whole game; that’s all you can ask for. A couple bounces go the other way, and we win the game.”

Finding themselves in a hole late in the second quarter, the Knights finished the half on a 7-0 run thanks to buckets from Jarrett Johnson and Tre Frank as well as a Casey Vincent three-pointer. Vincent was a big part of keeping Eisenhower in the game with nine of his 14 points coming in the first half.

Ike picked up right where it left off to start the third, with Vincent, Carter Farrell, and Johnson all burying shots to pull within two points of the Golden Eagles, though wasn’t until midway through the fourth that Eisenhower was finally able to retake the lead.

Trailing by five, Alex Johnson hit a mid-range jumper, Frank picked up a steal and converted the layup on the other end, and Jarrett Johnson grabbed an offensive rebound and the putback to give the Knights a one-point advantage.

Jarrett Johnson would finish with eight of his team-leading 19 points in the fourth quarter, but Kennedy Catholic’s Andre Campbell also began heating up as the two traded buckets down to the wire. Campbell had a chance to end the game in regulation, but an off-balance shot wouldn’t go as time expired.

The action carried into overtime with Chris Sanders, Johnson, and Frank getting on the board for Ike. Campbell continued to rack up the points with six in the frame, and teammate Gerald Zachar added a pair to put Eisenhower down 57-55 with time ticking away. Sanders came through again to tie the game for the Knights, and Johnson grabbed a rebound off a Kennedy Catholic missed shot to give his team possession with 2.4 seconds remaining.

Following an Eisenhower timeout, Carter Farrell heaved a long pass down the court to Johnson, who controlled the ball and put up a shot only to have it deflected by Kennedy’s Nolan Cianci as the clock hit zero.

The second overtime found Eisenhower in foul trouble, and the Golden Eagles cashed in going 9-of-10 in the period. Frank scored three points before picking up his fifth foul and Sanders had a pair, but that was all the Knights could get before time expired.

Johnson’s 19-point effort led Eisenhower offensively, Vincent had 14, and Frank had 11. Sanders had 10 points, including six in the two overtime periods.

Campbell led all scorers with 30 points – including a 13-of-14 performance from the foul line – and teammate Garrett Zachar added 12. As a team, the Golden Eagles converted 20-of-22 free throws compared to just 2-of-8 for the Knights.

Kennedy Catholic now advances to play the District 9 champion in the first round of the PIAA state playoffs. Elk County Catholic and Ridgway will square off for that title Saturday at Clarion University.

Cochranton won the District 10 Class A Championship with a 69-54 win over Erie First Christian Friday at Slippery Rock’s Morrow Field House. The Cardinals will play the four-seed out of District 7; either North Catholic or Vincentian Academy.

KENNEDY CATHOLIC (66): Campbell 7 13-14 30, Zachar 5 1-2 12, N. Cianci 2 2-2 7, Feeney 0 2-2 2, Crow 1 2-2 4, Hurton 2 0-0 5, G. Cianci 3 0-0 6; Totals 20 20-22 66.

EISENHOWER (62): Vincent 6 0-0 14, Frank 5 1-6 11, Farrell 1 0-0 2, J. Johnson 9 1-2 19, Sanders 5 0-0 10, Potts 1 0-0 2, Hunt 0 0-0 0, A. Johnson 2 0-0 4, Zortman 0 0-0 0; Totals 29 2-8 62.

Kennedy Catholic 11 16 15 7 8 9 – 66

Eisenhower 8 11 18 12 8 5 – 62

3-pointers: K – Campbell 3, Zachar 1, N. Cianci 1, Hurton 1; E – Vincent 2.