On Tuesday night Toledo Central Catholic traveled to Findlay in what was expected to be a quality battle in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference; the game lived up to the hype and more.
In the first quarter Findlay got out to a hot start, moving the ball, and knocking down shots from the outside, while Central Catholic struggled to get into the flow of the game. Ryan Roth, Findlay’s senior point guard put on a shooting display on this night, as he does just about every night, including 8 points in the first stanza.
Central Catholic would come out with better energy and focus in the second quarter, led by Jonzell Norrils at the lead guard position, who was finding teammates all over the floor, on his way to 5 assists in the half. Fred Overton would come off the bench for the Irish and provide them with a great lift in this quarter, which would take a 28-24 lead over Findlay in the halftime break.
The third quarter would be played at a slower scoring pace, with Findlay standout sophomore AJ Adams getting more involved on the offensive end. Adams was special on this night as he has been all season to this point, scoring inside-out, and protecting the rim on the defensive end. Norrils would continue to lead the Central Catholic charge, complimented by junior backcourt mate Cameron Awls who showed his ability to make plays from out on the wing. The score would be tied 34-34 after the third quarter.
In the fourth and final quarter the pace of play would pick up, as both teams began to put the ball in the basket at an efficient rate. Senior guard RJ Nunn would make his mark in this quarter for Findlay, scoring in a variety of ways, with Adams, and Roth getting involved as well. As the quarter wound down, Findlay held a 51-48 edge with :20 seconds on the clock. Central Catholic would get some buckets in the final seconds, and send Findlay to the foul line where they could close out the game, however they would not be able to do it there.
On Central Catholic’s final possession, off of a missed Findlay free throw, Kendal Marshall would bury a three pointer with Central Catholic trailing at the time, thus giving them the 54-53 lead with 2.4 seconds left. Many in the gym felt the game was over, but it was not.
Findlay would inbound it under the basket to the aforementioned AJ Adams with the length of the court to go, and he would make the catch, take one dribble across halfcourt, and heave a desperation three pointer that would find the net as the buzzer sounded, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. Findlay would defeat Central Catholic by a final score of 56-54.
AJ Adams would lead Findlay and all scorers with 23 points in the win, followed by Ryan Roth with 19 points. Central Catholic would be led by Jonzell Norrils with 12 points in the tough loss.