Josh Sewell swished a three-pointer at the buzzer as Louisville Trinity stunned Male 60-57 in the semifinals of the Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic on Tuesday night.
Sewell's shot put the exclamation point on a gutsy comeback by the Shamrocks, who trailed by 15 points late in the third quarter.
Male had the 6-foot-4 Sewell well covered, but he nosed through an opening on the left wing and let fly.
Did he know it was good?
"I did," he said, smiling.
Trinity, which won the King of the Bluegrass last week, will play Lexington Catholic in Wednesday's 7 p.m. finals. The Knights beat McCreary Central 66-53 in Tuesday's other semifinal.
Trinity Coach Mike Szabo told Sewell that if things broke down in the closing seconds, "you gotta go make a play. He made a great play. What a shot. What a shot."
It was the Rocks' defense that put them in position to win. Their full-court pressure created havoc for Male in the second half.
The Bulldogs led 45-30 before they fell apart. Trinity went on a 17-0 run, and it was tight the rest of the way.
"The intensity we played with in the second half was generated by our press," Szabo said. "The kids got excited, and they fed off that."
Sewell's 18 points and five rebounds led the winners. Taylor Epley had 15 points, and Charles Foster added nine points and four steals.
Male's Kevin Glenn hit seven of 12 threes and finished with 25 points and eight rebounds.
Trinity is a veteran of the Holiday Classic. It has played in it seven years and won it in 2004.
Lexington Catholic 66, McCreary Central 53: The Knights are in the finals of their tournament for the 10th time in 14 years. They'll be shooting for their sixth title.
"We feel this is our gym so we should play the best because we play here every day," Lexington Catholic junior Scott Schuette said. "But we don't feel it's a right to be in the final or anything."
McCreary Central made Lexington Catholic earn its semifinal victory. The Raiders led 18-12 after one quarter, and out-rebounded the hosts 20-6 in the first half.
Lexington Catholic finally started to break away late in the third quarter when Schuette hit back-to-back three-pointers to give his team an 11-point lead.
Schuette led the winners with 18 points, including five threes. Taylor Martin had 14 points and four rebounds.
The Knights' full-court pressure helped them prosper in transition, with the Beckham brothers — Jaylen and Seth — leading the way. They combined for 23 points, seven steals and seven assists.
"That's Catholic basketball," Coach Brandon Salsman said. "We get our runs, and hopefully we have more than the other team."
McCreary Central, playing its fourth game in four days (and eighth in 10 days), was led by Aaron Watts' 17 points, 10 rebounds and three steals.
"We came up here for a good experience," Coach Robert Jones said. "The kids competed, we've gotten better, so it's been very positive for us."
Louisville TRINITY (9-2) — Sewell 18, Epley 15, Corbett 5, Foster 9, Diedudonne 8, Armstrong 5.
MALE (6-5) — Hayes 8, Glenn 25, Moore 3, Way 2, Horne 7, Logan 2, Pillischafske 6, Duncan 4.
Louisville Trinity 12 10 19 19—60
Male 21 14 10 12—57
MCCREARY CENTRAL (9-4) — Watts 17, Roark 9, Privett 5, Wright 5, Williams 6, Dixon 11.
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (9-2) — Martin 14, Schuette 18, J. Beckham 13, S. Beckham 10, Floyd 2, Peurach 9.
McCreary Central 18 10 10 15—53
Lexington Catholic 12 19 17 18—66