The last time the Sacred Heart boys basketball team lost a North Central Activities Association game was Feb. 6, 2015–stretching nearly four full years without a league loss.
On Thursday night, the Knights’ unbelievable 45-game win streak within its league came to an end with a 58-51 loss at Beloit.
In what was billed as big game coming in, with Beloit ranked No. 4 in Class 3A and Sacred Heart ranked No. 6 in 2A, the Knights appeared to start the game a bit tentative on the offensive end. Sacred Heart and Beloit would trade blows in the first quarter, with Beloit leading 16-12.
Sacred Heart trailed 24-20 late in the first half when Beloit’s Vincent Palen soaked a 3-point shot with 8-seconds to go to put the Trojans’ lead at halftime to 27-20.
Beloit stretched its lead to 32-23 at one point in the third quarter. That’s when Sacred Heart began to get back in the game led behind Charlie Skidmore’s driving pull-up jump shots, leading the Knights to within three 39-36 by the end of the third quarter.
The final stanza began as an epic confrontation between two-heavy weights. Each time Sacred Heart would score, Beloit seemed to have the answer. Every time Sacred Heart came away with a big stop, Beloit would make a bigger one. Still, the Knights chipped away at the lead and tied the game up at 44-44 with three minutes left after a Skidmore jumper.
Beloit’s Carson Cox answered with the biggest shot of the game though, a 3-pointer to put Beloit up for good.
Sacred Heart would have a chance to tie with under one minute to go, trailing 54-51 coming off of a Palen FT miss, however after securing the rebound, Palen sneakily hung around in the back court and stole the ball away from the Knights off an outlet pass from the rebound. Beloit would ice the game from the line, with Palen sinking six FT’s in-a-row to secure the upset.
Beloit (12-1, 6-0 NCAA) also snapped Sacred Heart’s nine-game winning streak in-season. The Trojans were paced by Palen’s 19 points, Cox scored 16.
Sacred Heart (9-3, 5-1 NCAA) struggled with Beloit’s athleticism and length on defense all night. The Knights were held to 10 points below their season average as a team offensively. Skidmore led the charge for SH with 18 points. Tate Herrenbruck scored 15.
Not much time for rest for Sacred Heart, as the Knights play at Hutchinson-Trinity Catholic on Friday night.
Beloit 57, SACRED HEART GIRLS 52
What could have been for the Sacred Heart girls basketball team.
The Knights led nearly from start-to-finish all game, but could never fully pull away from Beloit on Thursday night. The Trojans then punished the Knights with a 12-0 run in the final quarter to steal the lead and not look back.
Sacred Heart would spoil a career-night from So., forward, Emilee Everett who scored 19 points. However, she fouled out in the final period and the Knights’ offense didn’t function quite the same.
Beloit (8-5, 4-2 NCAA) outscored Sacred Heart 18-11 in the final quarter. The Trojans were led by Shea Larson’s career-night with 23 points. Sydney Barrett scored 19 points.
Sacred Heart (8-4, 4-2 NCAA) must now regroup after just 24 hours and play at tough Hutch-Trinity squad Friday night. The girls game will start around 6 p.m. on Friday, while the boys follow immediately after on FM 104.9.