The WCAC has given us some amazing basketball game so far this year. Sunday evening's game will be towards the top of the list list of 2012's games of the year. Paul VI's Coleman Johnson had a career high 33 points to go along with 16 rebounds to keep Paul VI undefeated in league play.
Johnson, a Fairfield commit, also hit the first 3-point shot of his high school career, a shot from the left wing with 6.2 seconds left in the first overtime to tie the score and force a second overtime. It came off an offensive rebound after a Patrick Holloway missed three. Freshman Marcus Derrickson grabbed the rebound, looked around and saw Johnson on the far side of the court. The clock was ticking down, he was already having the best game of his career, so why not? It swished through and the game headed for a second overtime. On top of all that Coleman Johnson scored his 1000th career point in this game.
Gonzaga lead for much of the first half. After one they led 19-17 and at the break they held a 33-26 advantage. Kris Jenkins and Nate Britt each had 12 points at the half for Gonzaga. Paul VI came out hot in the third quarter and outscored Gonzaga by seven in the eight minute frame. The game headed into the fourth quarter dead-locked at 46-46. The teams would play back and forth basketball for he next 12 minutes exchanging lead changes time and time again. The decisive second overtime saw Paul VI with a two point advantage as Gonzaga had the ball with 16 seconds to go. After Britt missed a contested lay-up and the ball went out of bounds with just under six seconds remaining, Gonzaga had one last shot. They used a play that has been so good to them this year. Jenkins inbounded the ball from the baseline. He faked in towards the lane and then rubbed off a Jordan Abdur-Ra'off screen and faded back beyond the three point line. Marcus Derrickson switched defensively on the screen and overplayed Jenkins and he did not get a wide open shot, as he has almost every other time that play has been utilized this season. Jenkins got off a highly contested 3-pointer and it wasn't close. Paul VI had extended their WCAC winning streak to 15 games and all but clinched the #1 seed in the WCAC playoffs.
Gonzaga got two monster performances out of their star juniors. Nate Britt scored a career high 35 points including 12-12 from the free throw line. In fact Gonzaga as a team finished the game 18-18 from the line. Capitol Hoops' January player of the month Kris Jenkins had another monster game going for 28 points including four 3-balls. Paul VI put four players in double figures. Along with Johnson, Holloway finished with 17, Marcus Derrickson had 13, and Stan Robinson finished with 11.
On Tuesday Gonzaga looks to avenge their first loss of the season versus St. Johns. Gonzaga finishes the regular season next Thursday at Good Counsel. Paul VI has St. Mary Ryken and St. John's this week and then a showdown with DeMatha next sunday afternoon. DeMatha will look to avenge their loss to Paul VI when Patrick Holloway hit a buzzer beater 3 to beat the Stags on January 27th. In all likelihood Paul VI will be playing that game with a perfect WCAC regular season on the line.