The stands were packed, the players were ready, and the insane energy in the gym could only mean one thing: it was Chaminade vs. Crespi. These two rival schools seem to put up thrilling match ups every single time they meet, and this one was no exception. Crespi was backed by their student section, and Chaminade’s famous “CAGE” traveled to Encino to fill the visitor stands to the brim.
Chaminade and Crespi had met earlier in the season in a tournament semifinal and the Eagles beat the Celts 64-53. This time around though, the game was much, much bigger. It was on Crespi’s home floor, and the Chaminade fans love nothing more than storming the Celt court after an Eagle victory.
The game was a close fight all through out. Russell White’s Crespi team must have the words “Live by the three, die by the three” hanging in the locking room, because that team can, and will, shoot the lights out of the gym. Anytime Chaminade began to get on a run, the Celts seemed to respond with a barrage of the threes.
Late in the second quarter, the Eagles looked like they needed something to energize them, and their star Mike Oguine provided it. After a missed shot, Oguine threw down a monster put-back dunk, but received a technical for hanging on the room too long. The tech did not appear to discourage the Montana commit because early in the third, Oguine took it to the hoop for another slam that would have Clark Kellogg claiming that Oguine shifted into “Brain Neutral”, a phrase Kellogg does not use too often.
While Oguine had a fantastic game with 26 points, the true MVP for Chaminade this game was PG Jordan Ogundiran, who was unconscious from behind the arc all night, and finished the game with a season high 31 points.
With about a minute remaining, Chaminade led by six and a win looked to be in the near future, but Crespi point guard Mike Krkeyan had other plans. He knocked down a huge a three, then came back with a basket to tie the game up at 60.
Oguine had a shot from three with about ten seconds left, but the attempt just rimmed out, and Crespi’s last second look from deep was a good one. However it clanked off the side of the rim and these two rivals were headed into overtime.
Overtime was a defensive battle. Both teams only put up four points heading into the final seconds of the period. With about 30 seconds left and the Eagles’ shot clock running out, Chaminade missed its go ahead attempt, but three-point specialist Nick Henzgen came out of his corner three hot zone to grab an incredibly clutch offensive rebound to give the Eagles’ the ball with 27 seconds left.
Head Coach Todd Wolfson called a timeout, and Chaminade had a chance at the final shot of the game. Ogundiran waited until 10 seconds left, then dished it to Oguine who drew a shooting foul with 2.7 seconds left. Oguine hit 1 of 2, and gave Chaminade major hope with a 65-64 lead. Crespi threw it into Krkeyan who launched a last chance half court heave that just missed. Chaminade had came out victorious and the Cage went wild.
“I believe that we just won!” rang throughout the Crespi gym as the Cage stormed the court to celebrate with the players. Now, we all await the rematch of the two rivals at Chaminade’s home court on February 4th. The win improves the Eagles to 15-2 overall and 2-1 in league. Chaminade’s next game is against Harvard-Westlake friday on their home court, and expect the Cage to be in full effect.
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