Two days after the Seattle Seahawks used an aggressive, ball-hawking defense to win the Super Bowl, Walther Christian employed a similar strategy in its game against St. Edward.
Different sport, same result.
Walther (5-13, 3-3) attacked on defense from the opening tip to the final buzzer on its way to a 73-70 upset in the Suburban Christian crossover game. It was St. Edward's fifth loss in its last six games.
"We played fantastic defense," Walther assistant coach Charles Bolden said. "Our press was unbelievable, and we made the shots we needed to make."
The Broncos trailed 20-12 early in the second quarter, but gradually worked their way back into the game. Six-foot-one senior Vince Coleman had six points and six rebounds during this stretch, often fighting off taller players to secure the ball.
"I might not be the biggest person on the team," Coleman said. "But I can still get rebounds by working hard."
With six seconds to go in the first half, Walther senior R'Mondre Stockley grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled across half-court, and hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer from 10 feet outside the arc. The Broncos led 33-32, and they would never trail again.
"As soon as [Stockley] let it go, I knew it was going to go in," Bolden said. "That shot totally changed the game. It changed everything."
Walther used a diamond-and-one press to outscore St. Edward 22-8 in the third quarter, but the game was far from over. The Green Wave (16-6, 4-3) twice cut the lead to one in the final three minutes, the last time on a three-pointer from junior Danny Favela (team-high 20 points) with 8.7 seconds remaining.
Stockley then missed the front end of a one-and-one, but teammate Lee Hardrick corralled a long rebound and hit two free throws with 5.4 seconds to go. St. Edward junior Gino Domel attempted a three-pointer from the left wing at the final buzzer, but his shot hit the backboard and the front of the rim before bouncing away.
Walther had six players in double figures, including senior D.J. Walton (18 points), Hardrick (13), Stockley (12), Coleman (10) and seniors Brett Willis and K.C. McNeil (10 apiece).