Certain things in life are a given.
We know that Northeast Ohio weather will be cold in December and hot in August.
The sun will set in the West and rise in the East.
Thirty days has September, April, June and November.
And we know when Archbishop Hoban and Walsh Jesuit meet on the basketball floor, it is safe to assume it will be one heck of a show.
The two private schools made it a given again on Friday in Hoban’s Berry Gymnasium, where the Knights held on for a 48-45 victory in a North Coast League game.
After falling behind by 12 points midway through the second quarter, the Warriors staged a furious rally over the final 16 minutes and actually had a chance at tying the game at the buzzer on a 3-point attempt by leading scorer, junior Anthony Rozum.
His shot from near the sideline glanced off the rim as time expired.
A similar scenario unfolded last year, but the roles were reversed when the Knights had a 3-point attempt rim out at the buzzer in a one-point loss.
“It’s always going to be something when we play,” said Walsh Jesuit coach John Norris, whose team won the NCL title last year with Hoban finishing second.
“It was almost the same score, too,” Hoban coach T.K. Griffith said. “There’s never a dull moment.”
Hoban (2-3, 1-0) won the game despite making just four two-point baskets to 15 for the Warriors (2-2, 0-1).
The Warriors also had an edge at the free-throw line: 12-of-18 to 10-of-16 for the Knights.
Hoban made up for the discrepancy by making 10 3-point shots to just one for the Warriors.
Walsh managed seven points in the third quarter and Hoban was held to the same total in the fourth.
Senior guards Christian Waite and Michael Londa helped make Hoban a winner.
Waite scored a game-high 19 points with five 3-pointers and Londa was close behind with 14, with nine coming on 3-point shots.
Waite, 5-foot-10, also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Walsh made 7-of-28 field-goal attempts in the first half, three by 6-3 junior Dom Mittiga, while Hoban built a 10-point lead at the break.
Losing Mittiga on fouls did not help matters.
Hoban had a nine-point lead entering the final eight minutes but the Warriors refused to pack their bags.
After Waite’s final 3-pointer extended Hoban’s lead to 46-34, the Warriors reeled off nine consecutive points, ignited by junior Nick Schlosser’s three-point play that cut the deficit to three with 1:03 left.
Two free throws by senior Max Siwik made it 47-45 with 11.1 seconds left and Waite gave Hoban its final three-point margin with a free throw.
Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps.