Notre Dame is hoping to turn the corner in 2017 as the Irish have been dealt heart-breaking quarterfinal losses in both of the last two boys basketball state tournaments.
The Irish fell two years ago to 2015 state champion Magnolia after leading by 13 points with under four minutes to go. And then last year, Notre Dame again fell to the eventual Class A champion, Huntington St. Joe, losing an eight-point fourth quarter lead.
“That Magnolia game? You can’t write a book on all of the things that had to happen for them to win that game,” said Notre Dame coach Jarrod West. “Last year against St. Joe, being up eight? We had a few turnovers and a few slips – and that’s basketball. But we’re hoping the basketball gods will shine on us a little bit. We have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and continue to try and get better.”
West, though, saw that same problem appear early this year as the Irish were unable to finish in several big early season games. Against a brutal schedule, Notre Dame put together just a 4-4 start.
It didn’t take long for the Irish to pick up momentum again, however, as Notre Dame (15-5) entered this week having won 11 of 12, including a 74-67 win over Class AAA contender Parkersburg.
“We have been finishing a lot better,” West said. “At Wheeling Central we were up by 17 in the second half and lost, at Bishop Donahue we were up 18 in the second half and lost, at Parkersburg Catholic we were up 10 in the second half and lost, and then home against Wheeling Central we were up six and lost.
to read the rest of the story by Garrett Cullen.