Robert Shaw was unguardable in the fourth quarter, and the St. Xavier High School basketball team once again proved unbeatable in overtime.
Shaw scored 19 of his career-high 38 points in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers tie it, and they shot perfectly from the field in the extra period to post a 77-73 victory over visiting DeSales on Friday.
St. X was 4 for 4 from the field and 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the extra period and improved to 3-0 in overtime games this season.
“It’s just a tribute to heart,” St. X coach Kevin Klein said. “We’re all about intangibles, having pride and togetherness. It really pays off if you believe and buy in.”
Shaw, a 5-foot-10 point guard, hit 13 of 20 shots and 11 of 16 free throws and now has 998 career points. He also had five assists. Ashanti Burgess added 12 points, six rebounds and three assists for St. X (11-1).
Nathan Roush scored 27 points to lead DeSales (10-4), and Nick Phillips added 21 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists. The Colts led by eight points with 1:46 left in the fourth quarter but couldn’t hang on, missing a pair of key free throws in the final 21 seconds.
“We were in control … but down the stretch if we want to beat a good team we have to close them out,” DeSales coach John Mingus said. “We didn’t close them out tonight.”
The Colts closed the third quarter with a 15-1 run to take a 45-41 lead and led 59-51 after Roush sank two free throws with 1:46 left in the fourth.
Malik Carr’s 3-point play pulled the Tigers within 61-58 with 39.9 seconds left, and Shaw’s 3-point play got St. X within 64-63 with 13.2 seconds remaining.
DeSales’ Daniel Breedlove hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it 65-63 with 8.9 seconds left. After a timeout, Shaw drove the length of the court and tied it at 65.
“Every night I’m attacking I feel like I can have a big night,” Shaw said. “Most of my shots were layups and high-percentage shots. My coach preaches that if I get in the lane that not a lot of people can stop me.”
Breedlove’s shot from midcourt rimmed out at the buzzer, leading to overtime.
Phillips’ basket gave DeSales a 72-69 lead with 1:55 left in overtime, but Carr’s basket followed by a Shaw layup gave the Tigers a 73-72 edge with 1:00 remaining.
DeSales had two chances to take the lead in the final seconds. Phillips drove to the basket but had his shot blocked out of bounds by Carr with 6.9 seconds left. After a timeout, Roush drove the baseline but lost the ball on his way up to shoot.
Daniel Cecil and Shaw both hit two free throws in the final 2.5 seconds to seal the Tigers’ victory.
St. X shot a blistering 65.9 percent (27 of 41) from the field but hit just 58.1 percent (18 of 31) from the free-throw line.
“With the way we shot free throws and couldn’t keep Roush out of the lane, quite frankly we didn’t deserve to win,” Klein said. “But (DeSales) did let Robert play to his strengths, and he put the team on his back.”
DeSales played without 6-5 junior starter Chase Shellman, who suffered an ankle injury in practice Wednesday and will be out 1-2 weeks, Mingus said.
But the coach said Shellman’s absence wasn’t the reason for his team’s loss.
“If we make a couple of free throws, yeah, we win,” Mingus said. “But we don’t put the blame there. Early in the game a couple of turnovers or a bad shot could have been the difference.
“It was a good high school basketball game, for sure. I’m proud of my guys.”