SIDNEY — It didn’t end the way Lehman Catholic boys basketball coach Pat Carlisle wanted.
But, oh what a game it was.
And that wasn’t lost on Carlisle after the Cavaliers 53-51 loss to visiting Parkway on Saturday. Parkway improved to 5-5 with the win, while Lehman Catholic dropped to 3-5 with the loss.
“What a great game,” Carlisle said. “Big runs by both teams. That game is what scholastic athletics is all about.”
But, in the end, the Panthers’ Dylan Hughes scored on a drive to the basket with two seconds to go to break a 51-51 tie.
“It was a great shot,” Carlisle said about Hughes’ drive to the basket. “He is just a bulldog going to the basket.”
Parkway intercepted Lehman’s pass after the basket but stepped out of bounds, giving Lehman the ball with 1.7 seconds left near midcourt. The Cavaliers desperation shot was off the mark.
That Lehman was even in position to win the game was amazing in itself.
The Cavaliers’ 21-20 deficit late in the first half grew to 30-21 at the break. Parkway’s Mason Baxter finished the first half by hitting a 3 and making three free throws.
“The last 1:30 of the first half was uncharacteristic of us,” Carlisle said. “We lost a matchup and then we fouled a guy shooting a three. That is not us.”
Parkway then scored the first five points of the second half to go up 35-21.
“I don’t think we have been down 14 points all year,” Carlisle said. “It could have been over then.”
But, it wasn’t. Lehman went on an 18-3 run.
Luke Frantz hit two 3-pointers in the run, Brendan O’Leary had a steal and a layup and Bryce Kennedy followed with a field goal.
Elliott Gilardi had a three-point play, O’Leary drained a three and when RJ Bertini hit two free throws at the 1:49 mark of the third quarter, Lehman led 39-38.
“I am really proud of the guys and the way they battled back,” Carlisle said. “That was a huge comeback.”
It was an even matchup from there, as neither team led by more than three in the fourth quarter.
Frantz hit a 3 with 1:51 to go to put Lehman up 51-48 and when Parkway came up empty at the other end, it looked like Lehman had the advantage.
But the Cavaliers missed two free throws with 1:22 to go and Baxter hit a three at the other end to tie it a 51 with 1:00 remaining.
It looked like Lehman would take the final shot when they inbounded with 13.6 seconds to go from midcourt. But an illegal screen returned the ball to Parkway and set up Hughes’ big shot.
“That (illegal screen) wasn’t the difference,” Carlisle said. “In a game like this, a lost matchup in the first quarter is just as big as an illegal screen late. It is a little tougher trying to play with a lead this early in the season rather than later.”
Hughes had 15 points to lead Parkway, while Baxter added 12 points and Caleb Kinney had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Frantz led Lehman with 15 points. O’Leary had 14 points and Gilardi scored 11. Kennedy had nine points and five rebounds, while Drew Barhorst grabbed six rebounds.
Lehman was 19-of-38 from the floor for 50 percent and 8-of-13 from the line for 68 percent. Parkway was 19-of-41 from the floor for 46 percent and 9-of-14 from the line for 64 percent.
The Panthers won the battle of the board 26-23 and both teams had 13 turnovers.
“Hopefully, people saw a little more energy and little more excitement in the gym tonight,” Carlisle said.
And there will be another big game Friday, when Upper Scioto Valley visits with a share of first place in the NWCC on the line.
Lehman is 3-0 in NWCC play while Upper Scioto Valley and Lima Perry are both 2-0.
But Saturday’s game will be hard to top.