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With Mount Carmel winning the Class 8A state title in football, and Crete-Monee winning the Class 6A crown, a football game between the two would probably have been pretty exciting.
Saturday night at the Crete-Monee shootout, the fans had to settle for a basketball game, and that turned out to be pretty exciting too. Especially in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter when the Warriors erased a 10-point Caravan lead to force overtime.
In the end, Marvie Keith’s two free throws with 4.2 seconds left help Crete-Monee earn a 70-68 win over the Caravan.
“We changed into a defensive team and that changed the game for us,” said Laquon Treadwell, who scored the tying basket in regulation off a steal and assist by Keith. “We put pressure on them all the way up the court and that gave us momentum.
“Once we tied the game up that gave us a little hope.”
Treadwell, in just his third game back, tied teammate Mark Conner for a team-high 19 points. Keith added 16 points for the Warriors (9-1).
The Caravan (4-6) led 57-47 with 3:08 left when they started getting careless with the ball. A 10-0 run by the Warriors sparked by four turnovers followed. Tyler Williams had two of the four steals during the run, which he capped with a four-point play with 40 seconds left.
Crete-Monee took its first lead of the game in overtime after a pair of free throws by Brandon Johnson.
The Caravan had one last chance to win the game but a running three-point attempt by Christian Searles hit the back of the rim.
“I told the kids we had timeouts left and just hold the ball, but for some reason we panicked,” Mount Carmel coach Mike Flaherty said. “We haven’t been real good with the ball lately.”
Searles had a game-high 22 points for the Caravan, including eight in overtime. Gabriel Grant added 21 points before fouling out with 1:10 left in the extra period and his team up 68-66.
“We knew we could play harder than we did the whole game and we did,” Crete-Monee coach Tom Cappel said. “Our trap was the difference in the end and we didn’t move much of it during the game.”