In a game featuring the 17-10 Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds and Dixie Heights Colonels, rebounding was controlled by one team -- and surprisingly, it was not controlled by the team that won. Newport Central Catholic was led by the big Giesler boys, Matt and Jake, along with senior guard Jeramie Connor who busted off the bench with nine of the Thoroughbreds' twenty-three 1st half points.
Colonels senior forward Stephen Pompilio crashed the boards relentlessly, pulling down rebound after rebound, and getting put-back after put-back. In any case, no matter who out-rebounded who, his 9th Region Quarterfinal game came down to the wire.
With just over two minutes remaining, it seemed the Colonels had let the game slip away, trailing 39-32. Unfortunately for the Thoroughbreds, the Colonels' fast-moving offense brought the team back to within striking distance.
Trailing 41-39, Dixie was on the defensive, trying to protect against the good ball movement by NewCath. The clock rolled down to near twenty seconds, and James Stahl of the Colonels picked off a Grant Pangallo pass, taking the ball coast-to-coast and throwing down the lay-up to tie the game at 41.
NewCath controlled the ball and worked the clock down to just over five seconds, when Matt Giesler put up a shot from just inside the free-throw line. His shot was off, and none of the tip-ins were going, so everyone in the Bank of Kentucky Center thought it safe to assume the game was headed to overtime -- but Jake Giesler had other ideas. The big man from NewCath tipped the ball in with under half a second to go, sealing the victory for the Thoroughbreds. And as Dixie fans watched in disbelief, the NewCath bench thundered onto the court in celebration of a round one victory.