Catholic Central hangs on against Greeneview

Greeneview’s Nick Clevenger dribbles with pressure from Catholic Central’s Sabien Doolittle during an Ohio Heritage Conference game on Tuesday night. BRYANT BILLING / CONTRIBUTED
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Greeneview’s Nick Clevenger dribbles with pressure from Catholic Central’s Sabien Doolittle during an Ohio Heritage Conference game on Tuesday night. BRYANT BILLING / CONTRIBUTED

When the pressure was on late in an Ohio Heritage Conference game Tuesday night, Trey Dunn came up big for Catholic Central. Dunn hit several free throws and a key basket to help Catholic Central claim a 54-52 win over Greeneview.

The game almost slipped away from the Irish. They led by 10 points midway through the third quarter, but Greeneview fought back and went ahead 43-42 late in the fourth after a 3-pointer by Ethan Bradds.

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Catholic Central didn’t fold. Cossy Catanzaro followed with a basket in the paint, and Dunn added two free throws with about two minutes left to put the Irish back up by three. Greeneview came as close as one point after that, but Dunn and Dominic DeWitt hit foul shots to help Central hold on.

“We took care of the ball late and got great team shots,” Central coach Cody Sarensen said. “That’s something we talk about every day in practice — it’s so huge for us. I’m so proud of the way the guys battled and competed.”

The win improves Catholic Central to 10-5 overall and 4-4 in the OHC North. The Irish were two games behind North Division leader Fairbanks entering Tuesday’s action.

“This is probably our biggest victory this year,” Dunn said. “We knew this was a must-win, and we pulled it out. We’ve got to win out, and we’ve got to stick together.”

Greeneview rallied in the fourth quarter. Mason Schneider scored on back-to-back two-handed dunks midway through the fourth to bring Greeneview within one point. After Thomas Kavanagh made one foul shot for Central, Bradds hit a wide-open 3-pointer from the right wing to put Greeneview up 43-42.

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After Dunn and Catanzaro scored to put the Irish up 46-43, Nick Clevenger hit two foul shots for the Rams to narrow the gap to one point.

Then Dunn, who led Central with 16 points, came up with the biggest basket of the game. With about 1:40 left, he drove down the lane and past his defender, pulled up about three free in front of the basket and hit a shot.

“My teammates set a great screen, and I saw the middle open up, so I went to the middle and it went in,” Dunn said.

DeWitt and Dunn added free throws down the stretch. Bradds made an uncontested 3-pointer at the buzzer to narrow the final gap.

Schneider and Bradds are 6-7 and 6-5, respectively, and the undersized Irish had a tough challenge containing them. Bradds led the Rams with 24 while Schneider finished with 18.

“My teammates did a great job of boxing out, our bigs held our own, and we finished it,” Dunn said. “They’re really hard to guard.”

Greeneview drops to 10-3 overall and 6-2 in the OHC South.

Fans from both schools wore orange and black to show solidarity with fellow conference member West Liberty-Salem, which resumed classes earlier in the day after last Friday’s shooting. Students from both schools took a group photo after the game and posted it on social media to show support.