GREENCASTLE - Guerin Catholic won its second regional championship Saturday night, pounding overmatched Edgewood, 64-33, at McAnally Center.
The second-ranked Golden Eagles (22-3) never trailed and shot nearly 60 percent from the field in the second half, with four players in double figures: Aaron Brennan (14 points), Cris Burrough (12 points and 10 rebounds), Matthew Godfrey (12 points) and Matt Holba (11 points and 10 boards).
Godfrey, a 5-10 freshman, came off the bench after senior point guard Whit Rapp, went down with a hip pointer injury in the first half. Rapp only played roughly 11 minutes.
So, how do you prepare to fill-in for the school's all-time assist leader and the primary ball handler?
"Going against Whit (in practice)," Godfrey said with a smile.
"He's so observant. He doesn't get a lot of reps with the first team," Guerin coach Pete Smith said. "He's always aggressive and he made the most of his opportunity."
Godfrey hit all three of his shots (including a 3-pointer), sunk 5-of-6 from the free throw line and only turned the ball over twice in 20 minutes on the floor.
"He was as poised as a senior," Rapp said.
Edgewood (13-11) tried to keep pace with 3-pointers, hitting four in the first half, but finished with six treys. Guerin went to a zone defense in the second half.
"The zone really took them out of their game," Smith said. "Even the shots they hit were pretty incredible."
Edgewood's zone gave Guerin some trouble, especially in the second quarter when the Golden Eagles turned the ball over seven times.
Guerin adjusted, dominating offensively and holding Edgewood scoreless for over five minutes in the second half.
Guerin Catholic 74, Tri-West 58
Smith saw something in Rapp when the team left the hotel Saturday morning before the semifinal.
"Whit was ready to go. He was really excited," Smith said.
Rapp poured in 23 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor to pace the Golden Eagles to a win over Tri-West.
Rapp, known for his assists, had nine of those too. He also hit 10-of-12 from the free throw line (9-of-10 in the fourth) to help Guerin pull away.
"I thought he controlled the game," Smith said.
Guerin sprinted out to an 11-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The Golden Eagles shot nearly 60 percent in the first half.
Guerin gained a comfortable 53-30 lead to start the fourth quarter and Smith put in some reserves in the hopes that the banged up Golden Eagles cold get some rest. But, the Bruins (15-8) had one more run. Tri-West cut the lead to ten points (58-48)
Smith was forced to put the starters back in. After a strong defensive possession, Holba put the exclamation point on the Guerin victory with a one-handed, commanding dunk to give Guerin a 62-48 lead with 3:22 left.
Tri-West began to foul. Guerin hit 14-of-19 from the line in the final period to seal the win.
Holba scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Brennan added 13 points in 20 minutes on the floor, hitting 6-of-8 from the field.