In an absolute thriller that included a shot hitting an overhang without play stoppage, an ejected fan and a score correction at a crucial juncture, Cardinal Hayes managed to answer a remarkable rally by Bishop Loughlin to hold on for an 87-84 road win in Brooklyn on Friday night. Loughlin overcame a 20 point deficit at the end of the third quarter and took the lead with less than 1:00 left before Hayes countered in the closing seconds.
With the game tied 5-5 in the first, Hayes, behind Joe Toussaint, went on a 9-0 run to take a 14-5 lead. After a 3-pointer by Adrien Nunez gave Loughlin a spark, a running floater by Jontai Williams stretched the Hayes lead to 23-11 heading into the second quarter.
Offensive rebounding by Cardinal Hayes was the story in the second frame, as Loughlin struggled to keep Hayes off of the glass. The Lions called for time after a 3-pointer by Tyrese Williams extended the Hayes lead to 28-11. With point guard Markquis Nowell on the bench with foul trouble, Hayes took its biggest lead of the game, 38-15, with 3:00 left in the first half. After Nowell re-entered, Loughlin closed the deficit to 43-23 at the intermission.
Loughlin rallied in the third, cutting Hayes' lead to 45-32 on a Tyrese Gaffney bucket. Hayes answered with a 9-3 run of its own, taking a 54-35 lead on a Jontai Williams 3-pointer and stretching the lead back to 64-44 heading into the fourth.
Behind Keith Williams and Gaffney, Loughlin stormed back in the fourth, closing the gap to 66-54 with 6:44 left. After Toussaint fouled out with 6:39 left, the Lions continued to chip away, cutting the lead to 71-69 with 4:25 remaining. A 3-pointer by Nunez with 0:59 left put Loughlin ahead 79-78 (the scoreboard initially showed 80-78 before a correction was made). Terry Dawkins of Hayes was fouled in the act with 33 ticks left, but Dawkins was injured on the play, setting the stage for a Hayes substitute to shoot crucial free throws. Jeffrey Ramirez, who sat on the bench for the first 31 minutes and 27 seconds of the game, confidently walked to the line and knocked down both shots, giving Hayes an 80-79 lead. A 3-point play by Keith Williams gave Loughlin the lead again, but Hayes tied it at 82 and jumped ahead 85-82 on a Jontai Williams 3-pointer that bounced around the rim before falling in. Loughlin had another chance to tie when Keith Williams was fouled in the act from 3-point range, but he made 2 of 3, making it 85-84 Hayes. After two Hayes free throws made it 87-84, Nowell missed a desperation heave at the buzzer.
Loughlin held a pre-game ceremony recognizing its 1,000 point scorers, unveiling a banner bearing their names. Loughlin alum and Seton Hall standout Khadeen Carrington was on hand and Keith Williams was presented with an award for reaching the milestone.