MIDDLETOWN — Roughly 24 hours before their Jan. 27 battle at Fenwick High, the host Falcons had lost a Greater Catholic League Co-Ed boys basketball game by 20 points while Carroll looked like world beaters in a 15-point win.
Time healed Fenwick’s wounds enough to earn the first-place Falcons (12-3, 6-2 GCLC) a 54-46 win over the visiting Patriots in front of a large crowd at Fenwick High.
Carroll coach Tim Cogan said his team’s defense faltered, especially in the second half.
“First of all, Fenwick played very well. They’re coached well and they do a great job. It’s very difficult to beat them. Our guys played great last night (a 52-37 home win Jan. 26 over Purcell Marian), but we just did not play well defensively tonight. They were able to get to the rim way more than what we had planned,” Cogan said.
“We held them to 12 points in the first half. But you know what? In the second half, they came out and they hit shots. And they answered every time that we scored.”
After Fenwick led 6-5 after the first quarter of play, and then Carroll led 13-12 at the half, it looked as if the first team to reach 21 might win the game. But Fenwick outscored the visiting Patriots 17-7 in the third to grab a 29-20 lead.
Carroll (10-5, 4-3) pulled back to within four points of Fenwick’s lead when junior guard Matt Cogan drained a pair of free throws to make the score 44-40 in the Falcons’ favor with 1:37 to play, but Fenwick converted 10 of 12 free-throw tries the rest of the way to grab the win.
Fenwick hit 18 of 23 free throw shots in the fourth quarter. They were 21 of 27 for the game.
Cogan led Carroll with 13 points, Eli Ramsey finished with 10 points after the league scoring leader had been held scoreless in the first half, Austin Schafer finished with nine points and Simon Jefferson added eight in the loss.
Fenwick had been thumped 54-34 in Cincinnati to No. 2-ranked McNicholas the night before. Falcons coach Pat Kreke said McNick is a very good team, but if his guys would’ve played their usual game they could have at least competed with the Rockets.
“We just did not. Last night, I don’t know if we looked as if we hadn’t played or hadn’t played together, but we had 16-17 turnovers and five of them were thrown to nobody,” he said. “… Defensively (against Carroll) I thought our kids played really well. I thought their energy and rebounding was fantastic.
“Tim’s a great coach and he has some talented kids, so it’s always a battle when we play them. It’s always like this.”
Caleb Davis scored a career-high 16 points to lead Fenwick in scoring against Carroll. Teammate C.J. Napier finished with 15 points to go with nine rebounds, and David Luers tossed in 10 points.
The Patriots will host Bethel at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 30.
The Patriots are now a game and a half behind Fenwick in the North division standings, with three division contests yet to play.
“We’re at a disadvantage right now,” Cogan said. “We have to win out, which is not going to be easy. Chaminade Julienne is playing very well and Alter is playing a lot better, and someone’s gotta knock (Fenwick) off. It’s up to God now. And you can quote that, because I’m Catholic!”
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.