If you were not in Centerville on Friday, Nov. 24 to watch the Centerville/Seton Catholic basketball game, you missed a classic battle. Seton Catholic hung on to win 51-49.

Centerville had a shot in the air as the final horn sounded that would have sent the game to overtime, but it fell just short. Both teams played their hearts out for 32 minutes.

If you were an impartial fan, it was a great game to watch; it was the definition of Hoosier Hysteria, but there weren’t many impartial fans in attendance. The coaches, players and fans from each school rode an emotional roller coaster for 32 minutes.

The first quarter was a sign of things to come. The game was tied at 7-7 before Landyn Keiser hit a 3-pointer to give Centerville a 10-7 lead; Andrew Warner answered with a late 3-pointer for the Cardinals to send the teams to a 10-10 tie at the end of the first quarter.

The Cardinal opened the second quarter with back-to-back baskets from Mason Harvey and Jason Moynihan that allowed the Cards to build a 4-point lead. Three possessions later, Shea Hollendonner stepped out to hit a 3-pointer for the ‘Dawgs that tied the game at 16-16. The game was tied again at 18-18.

Both teams tried to clog the middle to limit scoring opportunities in the paint. With the Cards clinging to a 21-20 advantage late in the period, Tyson Tremain hit a 3-pointer to give the Cards a 24-20 lead. Hollendonner scored on a rebound basket to pull the ‘Dawgs to within 2 points at halftime.

The second half was just as close and intense as the first half. The score was tied three times in the third period, the last time at 32-32, before a deep 3-pointer from Harvey gave the Cards a 35-32 lead entering the final period of play. 

In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals twice build leads of as many as 7 points only to see the Bulldogs reel them in. Tremain drove the lane and scored with two minutes remaining to give the Cardinals a 45-42 lead. Hollendonner hit a 3-pointer to tie the game for the last time at 45-45.

A Tremain free throw with 15 seconds left extended the Seton lead to 50-46. With three seconds left, Hollendonner hit a 3-pointer to cut the Bulldog deficit to 50-49 and the Bulldogs called time out with 2.9 seconds remaining.

Centerville’s Shea Hollendonner goes in to score. Photo by DAJO Photos

When the teams returned to the floor, Seton called timeout. Tremain was fouled on the inbounds play. He hit the first free throw, but missed the second. Centerville grabbed the rebound and called time out to set up a final play with 1.2 seconds on the clock. 

The Bulldogs got a shot up as the final horn sounded that would have sent the game to overtime, but it fell just short and the Cardinals escaped with a 51-49 win.

Hollendonner led the Bulldogs in scoring with a game-high 27 points, but no other Bulldog reached double figures. Moynihan led the Cardinals with 17 points and Harvey scored 15. Tremain just missed double figures with 9 points.

Seton Catholic head coach Josh Jurgens acknowledged the Bulldog effort before he talked about his team. “Tyson (Tremain) was so big for us in this game. I kept telling myself to trust him when he has the ball in his hands. He is only a sophomore, but he is our best point guard and he made good decisions,” Jurgens said. “This was a great game. Centerville exposed some of our weaknesses, so now we can work on those. I am proud of my team.”

Centerville head coach Brian Keiser said his team executed their game plan. “We wanted to contain (Mason) Harvey,” Keiser said. “We felt like if we could hold him to 15 points or less, we would have a chance to win this game. But, some of his teammates hit timely shots when we had defensive lapses. We missed some good shots, but I am proud of our effort. We will go back to work to prepare for our TEC opener next week.”

Seton Catholic (1-1)    10  14   11  16     51

Parker 4, Andrew Warner 3, Jackson Feist 0, Malik Walker 3, Tremain 9, Harvey 15, Moynihan 17 — Total 51

Centerville (0-2)           10  12   12  17    49

Landyn Keiser 6, Ethan Vecera 6, Shea Hollendonner 27, Nate Dickenson 2, Trevor Thornburg 4, Kaden McCord 2 — Total 49

JV Results: Centerville 48 (Carson Ewing 22), Seton Catholic 42 (Sam Himes 12).

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A version of this article appeared in the November 29 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

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