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Molloy boys let excitement get to their heads in loss

Molloy's Christopher Davis drives to basket during the CHSAA "AA" basketball game between St. Raymond's and Archbishop Molloy.
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Archbishop Molloy’s thrilling comeback may have been more than the Stanners could handle. The emotion of Gabe Kilpatrick’s banked home three-pointer with two seconds left in regulation carried into overtime, but not in the way Molloy had hoped.

“They got so excited after that,” legendary Stanners Coach Jake Curran said. “I think it affected their game.”

Molloy and Kilpatrick couldn’t duplicate their heroics in the extra session and fell 81-79 to visiting St. Raymond in CHSAA Class AA boys’ basketball Friday night in Briarwood.

Curran said Kilpatrick had spent too much time on two open three-pointers from the corner that were missed. Molloy also mistakenly fouled St. Ray’s guard Troy Ferguson with 3.3 seconds left and the score tied.

He made both free throws and Chaz Walter’s desperation three-pointer hit the front rim in the final seconds. Luis Santos, a 6-foot-8 forward, led St. Rays (3-1, 2-1) with 27 points and 13 rebounds and Ferguson has 22 points. Molloy felt it let one get away.

“We lost focus a little bit after the shot, but we all knew we had a game to win,” said Kilpatrick, who dropped in 14 points. “We tried to finish it. Unfortunately, we didn’t.”

Things looked bleak for Molloy (6-3, 0-2) early in the fourth quarter as St. Ray’s took an 11-point lead. Stanners star C.J. Davis (12 points), who fouled out late in the fourth, had a lackluster night from the field. Watler, who scored a game-high 32 points and reserve Jason Cethoute provided spark during a 10-0 run led mostly by the Molloy bench. Watler was terrific, converting acrobatic layups and fall away jumpers.

“He’s been doing that all year,” Curran said.

The Stanners were then down 67-60 with less than a minute left in regulation, but free throws and two huge three-pointers from Kilpatrick sent the game to overtime.

“They hang in there every game,” Curran said. “They play as hard as they can. They got to accept what happens. Usually if we shoot pretty well, we can win games.”

His team, which was coming off a tight loss to city-title contender Cardinal Hayes, is playing good basketball right now. They just need to close out games like this.

“We are going to continue what we did right and work on what we did wrong,” Kilpatrick said. “It’s a step-by-step process.”

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