It wasn't until 6:40 into the third quarter that Central Catholic scored its first basket of the second half. Senior Jaycob Morales hit a 3-pointer to snap a 18-0 Andover run as the Raiders trailed 38-30.
And in the fourth quarter, it was Morales who drained a 3-pointer as time expired to give No. 2 Central Catholic (17-1) a 59-56 win over No. 6 Andover (13-4).
"He was our second option," Central Catholic coach Rick Nault said. "We were looking for [Luis] Puello to get a drive with Jimmy [Zenevitch] diving and we knew the defense would collapse on Louis and focus on Jimmy. We figured Jaycob would be the open guy."
After getting outscored 25-4 in the third quarter, a once-futile Raiders offense exploded with a 20-6 run to start the final stanza as Zenevitch scored 12 of his 26 points during the surge.
"We weren't hitting shots [in the third quarter] and I got in some foul trouble," Zenevitch said. "But we turned it on and picked up the intensity. We're used to doing the high-low, it's one of the biggest parts of our game. If Joel [Berroa] goes high, I go low [in the post] and he kept feeding me the ball and it turned out well."
Andover coach Dave Fazio called a timeout with 3:25 left, and his team came out of the break with a 6-2 run, trailing 53-52.
Senior guard Joe Bramanti went to the line with a 1:36 left and hit a free-throw for Andover to tie the game 53-53. Bramanti finished with 22 points on the night.
Morales hit a free throw on the ensuing possession, and after an Andover miss, Zenevitch hit a layup to give the Raiders a 56-53 lead.
But with 56 seconds to go, junior Craig Luschenat hit a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game. After misses by Zenevitch and Bramanti, the Raiders called a timeout with 12.5 seconds left.
Puello took the inbound pass and looked for Zenevitch. But when Zenevitch got tangled up in the paint, Puello found Morales streaking off a screen to the wing. Morales corralled the pass, and buried the winning shot.
"I just told the guys, 'I can't lose on this floor,'" Morales said. "They pretty much slapped us in the face and we knew we had to slap them back."
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
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- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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