Khadeen Carrington and Bishop Loughlin came up just short on Tuesday.
The Seton Hall-bound guard poured in a game-high 36 points, but had a potential game-tying three-pointer in the closing seconds of the Lions’ 86–83 loss to host Cardinal Hayes in Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA boys basketball. Carrington got a deep, but straight-on open look — but he misjudged how much time he had to take it, and it hit off the front rim.
“I think I just short armed it,” Carrington said. “I didn’t know how open I was, so I just kind of shot it quick.”
He and his team were only in the position to tie thanks to a frantic fourth quarter comeback in what was a back-and-forth battle between two of the league’s top teams. Loughlin trailed 83–73 with 2:11 to play in the game after Hayes (9–0, 8–0) was able to score quickly in transition. Carrington responded by tallying six straight points as Hayes missed free throws and committed key turnovers.
Consecutive layups by Khalik Howe put Loughlin down just 84-83 with 22 seconds left in the game. Hayes star Shavar Newkirk, who scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half, made two free throws with nine seconds left to go. That left the Lions (8–3, 5–1) needing a three-pointer to force overtime. Carrington just wasn’t able to get it in.
“He makes that shot in practice,” Loughlin coach Ed Gonzalez said. “He was just a little short. Who better to take the last shot than your best player?”
Gonzalez was not happy with his team’s defensive effort as five Hayes players scored in double digits, but he did like that they shot 28 of 31 from the free throw line. He also watched Javian Delacruz step up in the second half with Rutgers-bound guard Mike Williams (13 points) in foul trouble. Delacruz scored 14 points and connected on four three-pointers to help open up the diving lanes.
“He spread them out,” Gonzalez said. “When we are hitting on all cylinders we are a tough team to defend.”
Loughlin, which reached the CHSAA city title game last year, has lost its last three meetings against Hayes. Carrington called it a tough defeat to swallow. He and his teammates know if it sees the Cardinals again, it will be deep into a playoff run.
Carrington wants to ready for that moment next time he is called on with the game on the line.
“I think I’m about to go the gym now, to tell you the truth,” Carrington said.