Despite missed free throws, Rams beat North Medford 72-69

Central Catholic High came to the Rose Garden Saturday afternoon still reeling from missing an opportunity to play for the state title. The Rams had lost 77-61 to Jesuit in Friday's semifinals.

But the Rams dug deeply within themselves to beat North Medford 72-69 in the OSAA Class 6A third-place game.

'Our kids were really heartbroken last night,' Rams coach Mike Petrino said. 'We were crushed. To overcome that was really important, first. Second was to have the effort of knowing we wanted to go out and play better than we did yesterday night. We definitely played better than we did yesterday, which is important.'

The Rams (24-4 for the season) led North Medford (20-7) 18-14 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, they went on a 16-4 run to go into halftime with a 41-31 lead.

'We were excited,' Rams post Brennan Scarlett said. 'It was our last game of the season, so we came out with that kind of adrenaline and built that lead.'

Guard Demetri Posey led Central Catholic with 15 points.

'I just tried to attack the basket and either come out with a foul or a bucket,' Posey said. 'That was pretty successful for me, because they weren't really able to stop me or cut me off. I was trying to take what the defense gives me.'

Posey got help from David Carr's 13 points and Will Bond's 11.

In the second half, the Black Tornado began slowly chipping away at the Rams' lead. That attrition, combined with Central Catholic's missed free throws, cut the deficit 72-69 with three seconds remaining in the game.

After another missed Rams free throw, Black Tornado guard Michael Osmanski raced down the floor with the ball, but he sent a 28-footer too hard off the glass, leaving the Rams with the trophy.

'They're a good team,' Petrino said. 'We had them frustrated for a couple of runs there, but we knew they weren't going to go away. Then we had some turnovers and missed some free throws."

Central Catholic finished 22 of 37 from the line, 59.5 percent.

Thankfully, we don't have to shoot free throws in practice tomorrow, because we don't have it,' Petrino said.

Chris Faust led North Medford with 24 points. Jared Knox scored 12 points and Osmanski had 10.

Scarlett said that overcoming the heartbreak of the loss to Jesuit proved the type of character Central Catholic brings to the court.

'We're not the kind of team to come out and just give up because we didn't get to play in the championship,' Scarlett said. ' We showed perseverance and that we're that kind of team.'

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