4A MEN: Charlotte Catholic storms back from 19 down to win first State Championship 49-46 over Cary
It was a tale of two halves as Charlotte Catholic only managed 12 first half points and found themselves trailing Cary 25-12 at the break. Second half Cougars were much tougher than the first half version, and they stormed from behind by as many as 19 in the second half to knock off Cary 49-46 winning the school’s first Men’s Basketball State Championship.
Charlotte Catholic never led until a made free throw by McKee with just 33 seconds left in the game gave them a 47-46 advantage. On the ensuing Cary possession, Donte Tatum was fouled with seven seconds to play. Tatum missed both free throws and Jimmy Abate secured the rebound for Charlotte Catholic.
Abate stepped to the line with the crowd in a frenzy and drilled two free throws to give the Cougars the winning margin of 49-46.
Donte Tatum and Cory Gensler both scored 8 first half points, and were’ both held fairly quiet in the second half as the Cougars buckled down defensively and started to increase the pressure. The increased pressure led to more turnovers for the Imps, and turnovers led to easy buckets for Catholic, who saw the deficit shrink from 19 to 10 and finally 4 with about two minutes to play.
The Imps shot 69.2% from the field in the first quarter, the second half, the percentage dropped into the high 30’s as Catholic went from a cold 4 of 26 in the first half to 12 of 20 in the second half in the come back.
Bailey McKee’s defense and scrap led to a spark for the Cougars and started the uphill climb midway through the fourth quarter. He was constantly on the floor, diving after loose balls and creating havoc in the Imps backcourt. He finished with two steals and seven points. He was named the Charlotte Catholic Most Outstanding Player of the game.
Josh Brodowicz got things going in the fourth quarter, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He had two assists and two steals on the evening. Brodowicz was named the game’s M.V.P as the only Cougar in double figures.
Cory Gensler finished with 10 points and six rebounds. He was named the Most Outstanding Player for the Imps.