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Guerin Catholic defeats Norwell 64-48 for 3A crown

Sunday, March 25, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Guerin Catholic Golden Eagles broke away in the fourth quarter to beat the Norwell Knights in the Class 3A State Final, 64-48, on Saturday, winning their first championship in their first appearance in the state finals.

"Once we get the lead, we're awfully tough to stop," Guerin Catholic coach Pete Smith said.

Aaron Brennan had 14 points and 12 rebounds to help lead the Golden Eagles. Riley Rapp scored 14 points and Whit Rapp had 12 points and five rebounds and Adam Huffort added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Golden Eagles.

Grant Baker scored 11 points for the Knights and was the only Norwell player to reach double figures. He scored above his average of 6.4 points a game.

Josh Vanmeter scored nine points for the Knights. He led the team in scoring this season with 18.7 points per game.

Kyle Fillman and Caleb Featherston each scored eight. Fillman also grabbed nine rebounds.

"The first half, I think, was a little rocky for us, but we were in the ballgame," Norwell coach Randy Hawkins said. "The second half, we had some energy, but we didn't have shots fall. The effort was definitely there. I think it got away from us in the fourth quarter."

The Golden Eagles broke away in the fourth and led by as many as 19 points. They shot 7 of 11 in the final quarter and outscored the Knights, 26-14, to seal the win.

Smith said it was decision making that helped the Golden Eagles extend the lead so late in the game.

"We went to our floor offense," Smith said. "They made wonderful passes and we got Adam and Aaron to finish around the basket."

Midway through the third quarter, Rapp scored two free throws to give the Golden Eagles a 34-28 lead.

The Knights came back and got within two when Bucher scored on back-to-back possessions to make it 34-32.

That was enough for the Golden Eagles.

Brennan scored to extend the lead to 36-32 and eventually led 38-34 by the end of the third quarter.

Norwell had the opportunity to get back within two points by the end of the third quarter, but the Golden Eagles forced a turnover, but couldn't get a shot off before time expired.

But then Guerin Catholic made sure to seal state championship.

The Golden Eagles jumped to a 47-37 lead midway through the fourth quarter and just built the lead from there.

The Knights also made their first state finals appearance after just dropping two games before the tournament. They entered the state finals on a 10 game lead.

"Obviously, it means a lot since it was the first time in school history," Norwell senior Garrett Bucher said. "It sucks that we didn't finish it off, but it's been a fun ride."

Guerin Catholic lost two of its five games just before the state tournament began, but won eight straight before the state finals.

GUERIN CATHOLIC (24-5)

Hall 0-2 0-0 0, Lyons 0-0 0-0 0, Sahm 0-2 0-0 0, Paige 4-7 1-2 9, O'Neill 0-0 0-0 0, Hufford 3-8 6-7 12, R. Rapp 4-10 3-6 14, Vickery 0-0 2-2 2, Mazanowski 0-0 0-0 0, Burrough 0-0 0-0 0, W. Rapp 4-6 4-4 13, Brennan 6-11 2-2 14. Totals 21-46 18-23 64.

NORWELL (24-3)

Bales 0-0 0-0 0, Baker 4-9 0-0 11, VanMeter 3-13 1-2 9, Fillman 4-9 0-1 8, Vogel 2-3 0-0 5, Featherston 3-11 2-2 8, Harnish 0-0 0-0 0, Schumm 0-1 0-0 0, Shively 0-0 2-2 2, Bolinger 0-0 1-2 1, Bucher 2-8 0-0 4, Shelton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-54 6-9 48.

Guerin Catholic 11 12 15 26 -- 64

Norwell 13 9 12 14 -- 48

3-point goals_Guerin Catholic 4-15 (R. Rapp 3-7, W. Rapp 1-1, Hall 0-2, Paige 0-2, Brennan 0-2, Hufford 0-1). Norwell 6-19 (Baker 3-7, VanMeter 2-7, Vogel 1-2, Featherston 0-3). Fouled Out_VanMeter. Rebounds_Guerin Catholic 36 (Brennan 12), Norwell 31 (Fillman 9). Assists_Guerin Catholic 10 (W. Rapp 4), Norwell 10 (Bucher 3) . Total Fouls_Guerin Catholic 11, Norwell 18.



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