Junior Timaris Brown seems to be in range as soon as he crosses halfcourt. Seniors Caleb Corro and Nick Galati drip with guts and confidence; they’re as vital to their games as their skills are.
Jackson Gitterle and Michael Hamilton, the two other starters at St. Patrick, are also capable of making big shots at any moment. It makes the Shamrocks difficult to predict and defend.
That’s what visiting Lake Forest was faced with as the clock wound down in the final minute of regulation Saturday. The score was tied, and it was up to St. Patrick to decide on which player to go to.
Corro ended up taking the shot. He attempted a drive and jumper in the lane. It didn’t fall, and the game went to overtime. But the confidence displayed by the Shamrocks on the last possession seemed to leak into the extra four minutes.
No. 15 St. Patrick led from the start of overtime and held on to win 65-63 against the No. 18 Scouts.
“We just played a terrible first quarter,” Galati said. “But after that, we knew it was our game.”
Galati scored nine in overtime and finished with a game-high 23 points. Brown is one of the area’s top juniors. His potential is dazzling. He scored 20 points and contributed four rebounds and three blocks.
“We think before [Brown] leaves here, he’s going to be one of the top five players since I’ve been here,” said Mike Bailey, who has coached St. Patrick for nearly 30 years.
The Shamrocks (5-2) were upset by Marian Catholic on Friday. St. Patrick is one of eight teams invited to participate in the Chipotle Classic, the season-ending tournament that will be held at Notre Dame, so expectations are very high.
“It’s going to sound corny, but I think it was the pride in our program that lifted us today,” Bailey said. “We were bitterly disappointed in the way we played last night, to Marian Catholic’s credit.”
Hamilton, an Augustana recruit, scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds. Corro finished with six points.
“We thought we were so much better than [Marian Catholic],” Galati said. “We went into their building, and they kind of caught us off guard. We weren’t ready for the game. Today, everyone came in early and was getting shots up. We were not losing today.”
The Scouts (8-3) have a highly regarded prospect as well in sophomore Asa Thomas, who seems to be improving every game. Thomas scored 12 points in the first quarter and finished with 16. Senior Jack Malloy led Lake Forest with 19 points and seven rebounds, and Walt Mattingly added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Lake Forest, which lost to No. 4 Mundelein on Friday, led by 10 at the start of the fourth quarter.
“We can play with anybody; we know that,” Scouts coach Phil La-Scala said. “It’s just that we have to finish the game. They finished it.”
Lake Forest had a chance to tie or win on the final possession, but St. Patrick forced a turnover.
“We wanted to get the ball to [Thomas] or [Mattingly] to make a play there, and it just didn’t happen,” LaScala said.
Watch the final minute of overtime of Lake Forest at St. Patrick: