Just about every stat possible was even between the LaSalle-Peru and Princeton boys basketball teams as they battled as the weather grew ugly outside Saturday, but the Cavaliers pulled ahead in overtime for the 63-59 non-conference victory over the Tigers in La Salle.
The Tigers led 55-52 late in regulation before L-P’s Drake Weber drove hard to the basket for a bucket and a foul. He tied the game with his foul shot.
Jamie Reinhardt then drove at the other end, but the shot rattled out.
L-P then called a pair of timeouts and got a great look at a 3-pointer from Hunter Larson that rattled in and out, sending the game to overtime.
“Boy, we all thought that was in,” laughed Cavaliers coach Jim Cherveny. “What a play by Drake Weber there on that three-point play to tie the game. We worry about his free throws sometimes, but he hit some big ones. We don’t worry about his driving or shooting much. He hit some big shots again tonight.”
To start the extra session, Princeton’s Brayden DeBates hit a 3-pointer from the corner, but Larson came right back down the floor and hit one for the Cavs.
Tyler Hartman gave the Cavs the lead with a fastbreak layup before Weber hit 1-of-2 free throws for a 61-59 lead, but the Tigers were unable to cash in on some good looks on the offensive end and fell 63-59 in overtime.
“We forced some turnovers to get the lead then we gave up some big plays,” PHS coach Jason Smith said. “That seems to sum up our whole season. We can’t seem to string together much consistency and that starts with me, so I have to go home and see how to improve on that.”
The Tigers started the game strong, scoring the first eight points.
Wyatt Davis drained a 3-pointer and DeBates put back an offensive rebound before Caleb Haring hit a 15-foot jumper for an 8-0 lead.
Jack Scheri missed a 3-pointer, but Jarrett Skinner got the putback before Michael Jereb hit a floater in the lane.
Branden Haring found Caleb Haring for a layup as the Tigers led 13-6 after the opening period.
The lead grew to 17-8 after a short jumper from Cole Adams and a drive and finish from Reinhardt.
Hartman then hit a short jumper for the Cavs before Weber and Larson hit back-to-back shots for the Cavs, who went on an 8-0 run to make it 19-18 Princeton.
Reinhardt stole the ball and converted the layup, but Larson tied the game at 21-21 with a 3-poiner before Caleb Haring hit a 15-foot jumper to give Princeton a 23-21 halftime lead.
The Cavs briefly took the lead with a floater in the lane from Scheri and then a layup from Hartman, but after some free throws by the Tigers, Cherveny was whistled for a technical and Reinhardt’s free throws gave the lead back to Princeton 29-25.
Princeton hit four more free throws in the quarter and Weber hit a 30-foot shot as the game went into the final quarter tied at 35-35.
Latrell Coulter came up with six big offensive rebounds on the night and two of them in the fourth led to four consecutive free throws that he converted for a 41-40 lead.
“We tell the guys all the time to practice hard and be prepared,” Cherveny said. “Tonight was Latrell’s night. He got some huge rebounds and hit his free throws for us.”
L-P led 47-46, but three straight turnovers led to a Reinhardt layup and four Tiger free throws for a 52-49 PHS edge before the Cavs tied it up and won the game in overtime.
“I didn’t think we played with as much heart and passion as I would like us to,” Smith said. “When you play on someone else’s floor you have to want it more and I didn’t think we did that all night,”
The Cavs were led by Weber with 26 points, while Princeton had three in double figures with Reinhardt’s 18, Davis’ 12 and Adams’ 10.
Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939 or at email@example.com.