Tech coach Jason Delaney joked before the season that that Tech-Cathedral boys basketball rivalry this year would be decided by a best-of-seven series.
With the possibility of four meetings this season, that's only a slight exaggeration. And after visiting Tech escaped with a 67-64 overtime victory on Friday, everyone in the packed Cathedral gym was already buzzing about Round 2. "We consider them our rival," said Tech junior Trey Lyles, who finished with a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds. "They go hard at us and we go hard at them. They make us get better and we make them get better. I think every game will go down to the wire like this." It was hotly-contested throughout, with neither team leading by more than six points. Class 4A No. 10 Tech (3-1) used a 6-0 run in overtime to take command, going ahead 65-61 when Lyles found Demetrius Shaw for a layup. Fifth-ranked Cathedral (1-2) cut it to 65-64 on a 3-pointer by Mo Evans with 21 seconds left. After Leo Williams made two free throws with 16 seconds left to push Tech's lead to three points. Jalen Coleman's attempt a well-guarded game-tying 3-pointer glanced off the rim at the buzzer. Coleman had a better look at the end of regulation, but his 3 from the top of the key bounded off the front of the rim. "It was right there and looked good the whole way until it hit the rim," Cathedral coach Andy Fagan said. Coleman, a sophomore guard, scored 20 of his game-high 25 points after halftime, including a stretch of 12 straight in the fourth quarter. The Irish again played without senior Collin Hartman, who suffered a concussion last week. Fagan said he has been cleared to play, but wanted to give him extra rest before Cathedral's game against Louisville Ballard next Saturday. Tech had six days to stew over a 60-59 loss to Brebeuf Jesuit. Delaney called it "a wakeup call for all of us." "I haven't been a leader that these kids needed and we all kind of had to internalize things and take a look," said Delaney, who won his 100th career game. "If we would have won against Brebeuf, I'm not sure some things would have changed that needed to change. I thought the guys did a great job of playing for each other." Freshman C.J. Walker gave the Titans a boost with eight points in the fourth quarter, including a 3 from the left corner with 1:10 left for a 57-54 lead. The red-hot Coleman had an answer, however, tying it a 57 with a 3 from the corner with 30 seconds to go. The teams will be eyeing each other all season, with possible meetings at the Hall of Fame Classic in New Castle on Dec. 28, at the City Tournament in January and in Sectional 10 in late February or March. Delaney said his team will do well to keep the focus on itself. "This whole week was spent on us," he said. "How do we get better? It doesn't matter how much we prepare for somebody else if we aren't doing the things we need to do to get better. I think that's a good lesson."