HURON — Sometimes you should be careful what you wish for.
With Elyria Catholic’s 6-foot-6 center on the bench late in the first quarter, the Huron student section started chanting, “Where is Holley? Where is Holley?”
If they didn’t get enough of Holley in the Panthers’ 69-66 double-overtime win Saturday, they weren’t watching the basketball game.
Holley dominated Huron, scoring 26 points, pulling down 18 rebounds and blocking eight shots in the Elyria Catholic win. He sent the game to overtime with a 30-foot 3-pointer with less than two seconds showing on the clock, then iced the game with a block on one end and a pair of free throws on the other.
Holley, who was at quarterback when the Panthers fell to Huron in football this season, said the team had revenge on its mind.
“We can never get that football game back,” Holley said, “but this one makes it a little easier to swallow for the guys who played football. The basketball guys, these guys beat us last year so it was a big game for us.”
For three quarters it looked like Elyria Catholic (5-3) was going to suffer the same fate as it did in football. The Panthers shot poorly, did not rebound well and turned the ball over. A 3-pointer from the Tigers’ Keegan Bollenbacker gave Huron (5-4) its biggest lead of the night at 37-27 with 3:35 left in the third.
Elyria Catholic coach Phil Kuchta called a timeout to settle his team down, and it responded. The Panthers closed the quarter on a 9-1 run to cut the Tigers’ lead to 38-36 heading into the fourth.
In the final period of regulation, the Tigers kept pushing their lead out to three to five points and the Panthers kept reeling them back in. In the final minute, Huron took a 51-49 lead on a Cody Thompson putback.
Holley then split a pair of free throws to cut the lead to a point, but Bollenbacher was 4-for-4 from the line in the final minute to keep the Tigers in front.
But with EC trailing 55-52 with 12 seconds left in the fourth, Ceeven Shelton found Holley 8 feet outside the 3-point arc at the top of the key.
The senior hit nothing but net as the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime deadlocked at 55.
“They doubled Kevin (Kelly) so I figured I would run out,” Holley said.”
Holley scored the Panthers’ final eight points of regulation and had five of his team’s six points in the first overtime.
In the second overtime, he took control on the defensive end, blocking a pair of shots, including a would-be game-winner by Zach Souter inside the key, and sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 2.8 seconds left.
“It was a good game,” Huron coach Bobby James said. “The kid hits a shot from the volleyball line to put us into overtime. That’s what it is.”
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria Catholic 69. Huron 66
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (69): Jeremy Holley 10-5-26, Jacob Kuchta 1-3-5, Ceeven Shelton 3-4-11, D.J. Graham 2-3-7, Kevin Kelly 2-0-6, Conner Riddell 2-0-4, Angelo Cruz 1-0-2, Darin Guice 1-3-5, James Tirbaso 0-0-0, Drew Kaplan 1-0-3. Totals 23-18-69.
HURON (66): Keegan Bollenbacher 5-9-21, Cody Thompson 2-2-7, Gabe Camella 7-2-16, Jack Springer 0-1-1, Zack Souter 2-5-9, Austin Gardner 1-0-2, Ryan Vancauwenbergh 2-1-5, Adam Storer 1-3-5, Eric Weir 0-0-0, Andrew Dowdell 0-0-0, Nick Stauffer 0-0-0. Totals 20-23-66.
Elyria Catholic 5 16 5 19 6 8 — 69
Huron 8 17 13 17 6 5 — 66
Three-point goals: Elyria Catholic 5-13 (Kelly 2, Holley, Kaplan), Huron 3-9 (Bollenbacher 2, Thompson). Field goals: Elyria Catholic 23-48 (47.9 percent), Huron 20-58 (34.4 percent). Free throws: Elyria Catholic 18-32 (56.2 percent), Huron 23-31 (74.1 percent). Rebounds: Elyria Catholic 39 (Holley 18), Huron 38 (Souter 12). Turnovers: Elyria Catholic 24, Huron 16. Total fouls: Elyria Catholic 20, Huron 26. Fouled out: Kuchta, Camella, Thompson .
Junior varsity: Elyria Catholic, 46-42