Guerin Boys Notebook: Dissecting A Game Winner

Guerin Catholic junior Matt Holba scores the game-winning shot to beat Lafayette Central Catholic, 47-45, on January 31, 2014. (Photo: Joel Reagan)
Guerin Catholic junior Matt Holba scores the game-winning shot to beat Lafayette Central Catholic, 47-45, on January 31, 2014. (Photo: Joel Reagan)

GAME STORY: Golden Eagles Knock Off Knights (TheTimes24-7.com)

After Lafayette Central Catholic’s Mitch Witteveen hit a 3-pointer from the corner to tie Guerin Catholic at 45, the Golden Eagles’ point guard Whit Rapp winced in pain.

Rapp had just run into a crushing screen by Jacson Anthrop, which sent pain into his shoulder.

The term “floor general” is a sports writer’s cliche, but it fits Rapp. Everything in the Guerin offense runs through him.

Guerin coach Pete Smith saw the pain, the wince and how Rapp was holding his arm. So, he told Rapp to just dribble. With just over three minutes left in the game, Rapp dribbled the clock down.

“I just wanted (Rapp) to get his bearings,” Smith said after the game. “He had just gotten hit by Mack truck.”

Smith called timeouts with 1:20 left and again with :33 left. The plan was to get the ball to junior Matt Holba, who had struggled in the game and only scored his first two points just four minutes before. Senior Aaron Brennan was the second choice. Brennan finished with 12 points, slowed down by foul trouble in the second half.

“We’ll get the last shot and we’ll go to overtime if we don’t hit it,” Smith recalled the conversation.

During the timeout, Smith asked Rapp if he could make the pass for the final shot. Rapp said he could.

“And we hit it,” Smith said.

Holba did come free, sprinting to the basket on the backdoor play.

“We run that play a lot,” Holba said. “We weren’t sure what was going to be there. But, that backdoor was there and we just finished it.”

***

Smith emphasized that Anthrop’s screen was legal.

“You can tell Anthrop’s a good football player,” Smith chuckled. “He killed (Rapp) on that screen.”

***

While Brennan and Holba were stymied (especially in the second half), Guerin got contributions from junior Matt Labus, who scored 13 points (including 3 treys) off the bench. Senior center Cris Burrough  led the team with 14 points, hitting 6-of-8 from the floor.

“We have so much depth that if one of our guys isn’t scoring then we have other guys that will pick it up for them,” Holba said. “Anybody can score at any time and we’re okay with that.”

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