WASHINGTON (WUSA 9) — Sunday’s WCAC semifinal between Paul VI and Bishop O’Connell came down to the final seconds of play — three times — at American University’s Bender Arena
When the buzzer sounded, signaling the end of the game, it looked as if O’Connell would be advancing to the WCAC championship, but refs called a foul on Paul VI forward Marcus Derrickson. The 6-foot-7 sophomore sunk both shots and sent the game into overtime, tied at 45-45.
The second time the clock ran out, two foul shots from O’Connell guard Melo Trimble sent the game into double overtime. Paul VI guard Franklin Howard put the Panthers ahead, 56-55, with just 4.5 seconds left on the board. It looked like the Panthers would claim the win after all. As the clock rolled to 1.4 seconds, O’Connell forward, Junior Etou nailed three foul shots, ultimately securing a 58-56 victory for the Knights.
“I just wanted to take the shot, to see if it’d go in. That’s it,” said a calm Etou after the game.
The Knights will return to Bender Arena to take on St. John’s in the WCAC championship game Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m.
“Our kids never quit. They had so much heart, they had so much fight, I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said O’Connell head coach Joe Wootten. “We’re going to play a great St. John’s team. That’s what makes the WCAC great … you’ve got to go through great teams to win a championship.”