When Seton Catholic and Hagerstown got together in a basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 29 in the Athletics and Wellness Center on the campus of Earlham College, it was more like four distinctly different games depending on which quarter they were in.  

In the first quarter, Hagerstown put on a shooting clinic. Kaagen Kendall and Isaac Schmitz combined to hit five 3-pointers to propel the Tigers to an 18-15 lead.

The second quarter was a disaster for the Tigers. The Cardinals seemingly hit everything from everywhere, outscoring Hagerstown 23-5 to build a 37-23 lead at halftime. A Kendall 3-pointer was the only field goal in the period for the Tigers.

The third period was nearly even. The Cards built their biggest lead of the game at 48-27 with 3:22 remaining in the period before the Tigers started to whittle away at their deficit, cutting it to 54-37 entering the last quarter. The Cards seemed to have the game well in hand until they didn’t.

The Tigers applied surprisingly effective full-court pressure in the final period. The defense led to Cardinal turnovers, which led to offensive opportunities for Hagerstown. The Tigers scored 27 points in the fourth quarter, pulling to within 5 points at 69-64 with 34 seconds remaining. The Tigers ran out of time before the Cardinals ran out of lead. A Jason Moynihan free throw in the final seconds iced the game for the Cards.

Hagerstown’s Kaagen Kendall shoots over Seton Catholic’s Mason Harvey. Both players scored 24 points in Seton’s victory. Photo by Rachel Moore

Both teams had three double-figure scorers. Mason Harvey, who was honored before the game for reaching the 1,000 points plateau in sectional play last season, led the Cardinals with 24 points. Moynihan scored 18 and Andrew Parker added 10 points. Kendall led Hagerstown with a career high of 24 points. Anthony Kelley also scored a career high with 18 points and Schmitz scored 10.

Cardinal head coach Josh Jurgens said his team’s reaction to the Hagerstown press was surprising. “It is not like we should not have been prepared,” Jurgens said. “Every day in practice we work against the press. Tonight, we just seemed to forget that preparation. On a positive note, for three quarters we played as well as we have played anytime this year. It is nice that we won, but we have things to work on.”

Hagerstown head coach Mark Doerstler also talked after the game. “We struggled with execution, missed free throws, and a lack of mental toughness in the second quarter,” he said. “They put us in a hole we could not get out of. This was a winnable game, had we played for four quarters. This is a tough lesson to learn, but we will move on and work to improve. I knew that we needed to conserve our energy, so I didn’t think we could press the entire game. I told the kids before they went back on the floor that win or lose, they needed to give an all-out effort and gain their respect back. I think they did that.”

Seton Catholic (2-1)     15    23    16    16    70

Parker 10, Tyson Tremain 3, Andrew Warner 2, Harvey 24, Moynihan 18, Malik Walker 9, Nolan Burkhardt 4 – Total 70

Hagerstown (2-1)         18       5     14    27   64

Schmitz 10, Kelley 18, Tracy 5, Kendall 24, Landon Lawson 1, Griiffin Doerstler 6 – Total 64 

JV Summary: Hagerstown 49 (Braden Sanders 10), Seton Catholic 48 (Jackson Feist 16) – Sam Himes scored for the Cardinals off a perfectly executed inbounds play with 5 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 48-48. Kendrick Herr was fouled on a shot attempt at the buzzer and sank the free throw to give the Tigers a 49-48 win. 

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A version of this article appeared in the December 6 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Dan Harney is a sports reporter at the Western Wayne News.