Tyler Small called it the “hardest game of the year.” Cam Wynter called it a game they “had to win.” And Thornton Scott used the word “unbelievable.”
For Holy Trinity, it was all the above as the host Titans handed Chaminade its first CHSAA boys basketball loss of the season, 92-88, Tuesday night. In a game with six lead changes in the final two minutes alone, Holy Trinity remained composed amid some chaotic moments down the stretch.
“It was amazing playing in an atmosphere like this in a gym like this, said Wynter, who led the Titans with 37 points. “It was definitely a game we had to win though because they beat us the first time. I felt like we had this game circled on our calendar.”
Holy Trinity (8-2) didn’t have its first lead until 7:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. After trailing at one point 11-1 and by six coming out of halftime, Scott had back-to-back steals for layups off Chaminade’s first inbounds passes to set the tone for the remainder of the game.
“I knew coming out of the half we needed to bring energy,” said Scott, who had 14 points. “We were down in the first half and this was a must-win game so I just tried to spark our team and I think it worked.”
Chaminade’s Kyle Murphy and Wynter traded playmaking moments in the final two minutes, with Wynter driving the lane with less than 20 seconds remaining to give Holy Trinity a 77-76 lead. But he knew that wouldn’t be the game’s final score.
“I never thought it was going to be over,” Wynter said. “They’re a tough team, they keep coming back. We kept punching them, they came back and I knew once I scored, they were definitely going to come back at us.”
Which is exactly what Chaminade (9-1) did as Murphy drove the length of the court before finding Kellen Paradine for a layup to retake the one-point lead. Without taking a timeout, Wynter took the inbounds pass, drove up court and found Scott, who fired a pass to Small, who made the layup and was fouled with 1.1 seconds remaining. Small made the ensuing free throw to give the Titans an 80-78 lead.
“I knew I was going to finish it,” said Small, who had 14 points. “I just wanted to make sure I’d hit the free throw. I knew if I cut, Thornton would find me. He’s a great passer and I just had to make a play.”
An off the ball foul resulted in Chaminade’s Brendan McGuire going to the foul line and scoring two of his 22 points to force overtime. But Wynter continued his dominant game in overtime with eight points to secure the win.
“It was unbelievable,” Scott said. “This is why we play the game. Chaminade, we knew they were in first place. We were coming for them and we’ll see them in the championship.”