Chaminade Comes Up Big Down the Stretch to Beat DeSmet

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John Gronski

Owen Boyette

The clip went viral. Hours later, it was on the ESPN top ten. The court had been stormed. It left a terrible taste in the mouth of the Red Devils. And even though the team had settled the score later last season, the feeling still lingered.

Last year, DeSmet had went into a highly ranked Chaminade gym and shocked the Red Devils with a half court buzzer-beater three that sent the DeSmet fanbase into a frenzy, they were on top of the world, and for DeSmet, the road back to tradition was well on its way. So, Wednesday night’s 54-51 win was incredibly personal.

Last season’s result wasn’t brought up in the locker room, but it was obviously on players’ minds going into the night. A win was imperative, and the squad delivered.

Wednesday’s win was in part due to sophomore center Tarris Reed. When the team needed his contributions most in the fourth quarter, Reed delivered ten of his twenty-one points. His momentum really started as the clock was expiring in the third quarter and Reed hit a buzzer-beater three of his own. Wednesday’s last eight minutes were largely dictated by Reed. The big man did a tremendous job of drawing contact, getting the ref to blow his whistle, and finishing at the basket to force the and-one. Tarris’s physical play kept the Red Devil offense going.

After missing the win over Trinity (illness), Luke Kasubke was called to play an unfamiliar role. Chaminade’s star forward came off the bench for the first time since senior night of his sophomore year (Kasubke had started every game that season, with senior night being the only exception). The senior came off the bench, and towards the end of the first quarter, got hot from behind the three-point line. He hit back-to-back threes and missed an attempted buzzer beater; regardless, he was on fire. Kasubke finished the first two frames leading all scorers with eight.

The forward came out of the locker room ready to distribute the ball. Kasubke had a key assist to Jaden Winfield at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter. After getting a defensive stop, Luke shot the ball down the court to Winfield, who caught it, dribbled to just outside the free throw line, pulled up, and swished a jumper that gave CCP the 39-38 lead. From there, it was a back and forth thriller. The MCC rivals shared buckets and the lead changed eight times. The Red Devils took the final lead with twenty-two seconds remaining when coming out of a timeout, Kasubke received a pass from Winfield, Tarris Reed posted up well, and Kasubke fired a dime into the center’s hands allowing Reed to go up strong and finish at the rim. All that was left was a defensive stop.

Coach Kent Williams of DeSmet took a timeout to draw up a game-winning play. The Spartans inbounded the ball with nineteen and a half seconds left. Jeremiah Walker took the ball from outside the three-point line, drove across the top of the key, and attempted to scoop in a layup. The basketball rattled around the top of the rim, sputtered out, and was rebounded by DeSmet big man Sekou Gassama. Gassama went for the put back but was stuffed by Reed, and the ball flew out of bounds. Thomas Redmond received the inbounds pass and hacked up a hurried three-point shot that hit the far side of the rim.

Kasubke rebounded the ball and was immediately fouled. He went to the line for two shots. The K-State commit did his job and sunk both of his free throws. DeSmet had one final possession. Unfortunately for D-Block, Evan Asleson graduated last year and wasn’t on the court for any late game heroics.

Surely, it was not the Red Devil’s best game. They made plenty of mistakes throughout but also made plays at key moments. Chaminade toughed it out without sophomore Damien Mayo suiting up, well not the way the team would like him too at least. While he brought plenty of energy cheering on the team from the bench, Mayo rocked a nice blue suit from coat and tie day.

Mayo wasn’t the only one looking good Wednesday. Chaminade unveiled their new home ‘Esto Vir’ jerseys which were generously donated by alum Jason Tatum 16’. He sent his former team new black Jordan Thirty-Four sneakers, Jordan team jump suits, coach’s Jordan polos, Jordan socks, Jordan under gear, Jordan backpacks, and of course, two new Jordan uniforms. Both the whites and the blacks don the Latin phrase for ‘Be a man.’ Its been a night the players have been looking forward to all season. When coach Bennett unveiled the jerseys to the guys on Tuesday, it was unanimous that they would debut them against the Spartans.

Home MCC play has concluded and winning the conference will require four consecutive road victories in conference. That stretch begins January 31st at CBC, undoubtedly the hardest road test of the year to date. Pre-sale for the game has begun, and the administration at Christian Brothers College anticipate a sellout of DC Wilcutt Gymnasium. If the Red Devils finish the game on top, the hardest challenge will be out of the way; however, the game at DeSmet will surely be tough. The DeSmet faithful will fill the stands and watch the two teams go to battle.

The next month of Chaminade basketball will be just as exciting as the previous two. Four road MCC games, a trip north to the Quincy Shootout, a big matchup at the O’Fallon shootout against O’Fallon, and a visit to St. Mary’s highlight the last stretch of the regular season. When talking about the remainder of the season, Coach Bennet knows the team has a lot to improve on, “just one day at a time.”

 

Overall Record: 11-2

MCC: 3-1

Next Game: Friday January 24th, 5:30 at Quincy High School vs. Memphis East.