The Sideline

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 This Week's Paper
Late heroics lead Lions to second straight title

Trailing 45-39 to Olympia with less than two minutes remaining, Bellarmine Prep rallied to send the game to overtime on Lucas Meikle’s three-pointer with three seconds remaining. The Lions then dominated the extra period, winning 59-54 to claim back-to-back league titles for the first time in 45 years.

Isaiah Flynn had nailed two three-pointers in 20 seconds to pull the Lions within 47-45 with 53 seconds left. After Olympia later extended it to 48-45 with a free throw, Flynn looked to provide more heroics, but his three was off target. The ball then came to Carson Hollyoak, who also missed from three. But Mar’kese Jackson corraled the rebound and sent it to Meikle, who nailed the three in front of the Lions’ bench – and was fouled in the process. Despite missing the potential game-winning free throw, the Lions had stolen the momentum.

Hollyoak came up big for the Lions in overtime, hitting a three-pointer to make it 51-48 with three minutes left, dishing to Flynn for an easy layup on the next possession and then collecting a steal on Olympia’s ensuing possession. Meikle added two free throws to make it 55-48 with 47 seconds left, essentially sealing it for the Lions.

Olympia had gotten off to a hot start in the game, jumping out to an 18-10 lead midway through the second quarter. But Jackson provided a spark off the bench, getting a steal and a layup and later nailing a three-pointer to help the Lions cut it to 22-19 at the half.

The third quarter was back and forth, as Flynn’s three-pointer gave the Lions a 30-28 lead with two minutes left in the period before Olympia tied it 32-32 on a goaltend heading into the fourth. The Bears shot out to a six-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Meikle answered with a driving jumper after being fouled. He converted the resulting free throw to cut it to 42-39, but the Lions were then held scoreless for three minutes as the Bears again to a six-point advantage. That’s when Flynn hit the first of his clutch threes, leading to the late heroics.

Meikle led the Lions with 23 points, while Flynn added 18 points and Jackson had nine points and four steals. Michael Naipo had 11 points for Olympia, while Brendan Leonard added 10 points for the Bears.

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