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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Marq Rogers, left, and Thomas Starks Jr. celebrate after Concordia defeated Andrean in Saturday’s Class 3A semistate game.
Concordia 68, Andrean 63

Extra effort pays for Cadets

Overcome missed chances in regulation to win in OT and head to their 1st state finals

– Concordia senior Brian Gremaux and the Cadets were down – but not for long.

After missing a potential game-winning layup with only seconds left in regulation, Gremaux had seven points in overtime to lift the Cadets to their first-ever trip to the state finals with a 68-63 win over No. 3 Andrean in a Class 3A semistate game at Huntington North.

“After I missed that shot, I went back to the bench with my head down, and the guys were telling me to put my head back up,” Gremaux said. “I knew what I had to do.”

Gremaux’s overtime heroics included two free throws and four rebounds.

“I missed that shot at the end of regulation, and they were counting on me,” Gremaux said. “There was a mismatch there, and they went to me – and I missed it. I knew I had to come through in overtime and help my team out.”

With the scored at tied at 54 with 8.3 seconds left, the Cadets called a time out.

The play went in to the 6-foot-7 Gremaux, but he missed the layup, and D.J. McCall missed a put back tip-in, and the game went to overtime.

“Brian’s rebounding, fighting hard and knocking down his free throws, that’s what got us this win,” McCall said. “We were all down for a little bit, I know I was down, but … we said it is now a whole ’nother game.”

Gremaux eventually fouled out late in overtime, but the Cadets still persevered.

“He came up big,” Cadets coach Josh Eggold said of Gremaux. “He got into foul trouble, and that has been the story of his postseason. It was great to see him learn how to play with four fouls. He came through like a champ for us.”

The No. 7 Cadets (23-4) will face No. 2 Greensburg (25-1) at 6 p.m. next Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse after winning the program’s first semistate championship.

“When we got that little gold plaque that said ‘regional and semistate champs’ on it, and we just punched our ticket to Indy; that was crazy,” senior Ryan Gross said. “It still hasn’t hit me yet.”

The Cadets avenged a loss 13 years ago to the 59ers in the 2000 semistate.

The Concordia girls basketball program won state titles in 2010 and 2012, but the boys had never advanced this far. Concordia has been in three semistate games, 1989, 2000 and 2013.

“It’s a blessing,” McCall said of getting to the program’s first state finals. “But we are not finished yet.”

Concordia outscored Andrean (22-4) 33-21 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

“There was a belief in each other, and I guess that’s what seniors give to each other,” Eggold said. “It is just great to be along for the ride.”

After getting a 17-5 advantage in the third, Andrean built a 50-42 lead midway through the fourth. But the Cadets came back, once again, and eventually took a 54-53 lead on – what else? – a layup by Gremaux with two minutes left.

“We knew we couldn’t just get it all at once,” McCall said of coming back. “We had to keep fighting and fighting. Handling adversity was a big part of this game. We matched up well with them size, speed – so it all came down to fight.”

McCall led the Cadets with 20 points, while Rogers had 15, Gremaux 13 and Thomas Starks 10.

The 59ers got 20 points from Sam Toporski, 17 from Collin Wojcik and 16 from Skylar Moss.

gjones@jg.net

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