Scott did a lot of things well in Thursday’s game at Charleston Catholic. Taking care of the ball wasn’t one of them.
However, when the Skyhawks started cutting down their mistakes, they carved out quite a large lead. Turns out it was just enough.
Jon Hamilton poured in 28 of his 32 points in the second half and Jagger Bell had 29 points and eight rebounds as Scott captured a wild and thoroughly draining 85-80 victory at Catholic’s Athletic Complex.
The Skyhawks (9-5), who won their fourth in a row, shot 63 percent from the floor — which included a 5 of 14 first quarter — and made 19 of 25 free throws. They also outrebounded the Class A No. 2 Irish 32-28. But 24 turnovers kept Scott in hot water even after it built a 79-60 lead with just over three minutes left in the game.
Catholic pieced together a 20-3 run to shave its deficit all the way down to 82-80 with 14 seconds left before Hamilton hit a free throw and late breakaway basket.
“It kind of describes our season,’’ said Scott coach Shawn Ballard. “We’ve been very up and down at times. When we buy in and play as a team and guard and want to guard people, we’re a really good team. But at times, we have spurts where we don’t commit on the defensive end and try to rely on our talent.
“We’ve got a lot of seniors and they know they’re talented and at times they think they can rely on their offense. We had some early season losses we think we shouldn’t have had, and I think it opened our eyes to do the little things. We need to guard to be a good team.’’
Saddled with 13 first-half turnovers, the Class AA Skyhawks fell behind by as many as 10 points. They trailed much of the way through three quarters before turning it on in the final period, with Hamilton providing 15 of his points in that quarter. Their lead seemed safe at 79-60, but Catholic had other ideas.
Catholic’s Marshall Pile had eight points in the final quarter and converted both ends of a 1-and-1 with 40 seconds left to make it 82-78. The teams traded turnovers and Scott missed a 1-and-1, leading to Pile feeding Aiden Satterfield for a basket and an 82-80 score with 14 seconds to go.
Hamilton made the second of a two-shot foul with 12 seconds remaining to bump the lead to three and the Irish got a chance to tie it, but Thomas Blaydes’ corner 3-pointer rimmed out. Hamilton came out of a wild scramble with the rebound and flew downfloor for a layup at the buzzer.
It marked the first game for Catholic (6-2) since its coveted victory at then-No. 1 Wheeling Central last Friday. Though disappointed with the loss, Irish coach Hunter Moles knows his team can use it to improve.
“We’re a basketball team; we’re going to have ups and downs,’’ Moles said. “We’re going to face adversity. I’d rather be in a game like this than play a team and blow them out by 30. At least we learned something about our team tonight. We can get better from this. If we win, it doesn’t make or break our season, and if we lose, it doesn’t make or break our season.
“Did we want this one? Yeah, we wanted this one really bad. But we’re going to learn from it. It’s all how you respond to things.’’
Satterfield led the Irish with 22 points and was backed by Zion Suddeth (14 points, five steals), Pile (12 points, seven steals) and Blaydes (10 points, three steals). Catholic totaled 17 steals. For Scott, Caleb Dingess added 12 points and seven rebounds. Hamilton had seven boards and four thefts.
With Bell making 11 of 15 shots and Hamilton 12 of 18, Scott hit 74 percent from the floor (26 of 35) after the first quarter.
“We weren’t sticking to the game plan,’’ Moles said. “We weren’t playing Charleston Catholic basketball. This is the first time I saw us kind of — not do our own thing — but go away from what’s been working for us. We just didn’t play solid. Played too soft. Give credit to Scott. I knew they were a good team from watching them.’’