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January 18, 2010MORE: Check out the latest RivalsHigh Top 100 boys basketball rankings
When his team needed him, Kyrie Irving was there.
He drove to the hoop to score. He made circus layups. He forced turnovers. And he scored 30 points in the process.
Irving likely wishes, though, that he'd scored 31.
With one second remaining on the clock and his team trailing by just one point, Irving missed the second free throw of a double bonus that would have tied the game.
Michael Gilchrist grabbed the offensive rebound and had a chance to put it up for the game-winning bucket, but it was blocked.
And thus Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, ranked No. 3 in the most recent RivalsHigh Top 100 rankings, squeaked past No. 4 Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, 71-70, on Monday afternoon at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
St. Patrick head coach Kevin Boyle ran after the officials after the game, arguing that a foul should have been called on the block.
"Kyrie made the first, the second one bounced and went to Michael," Boyle said to our media partners at the event, Masslive.com (see its complete coverage here).
"I guess the refs chose to pass. In my opinion he should have been at the line, but I'm not the ref."
Here's a photo gallery by Laura Merwin of Masslive.com, followed below by a video by Kyle Belanger.
Cory Joseph, the five-star, No. 7 prospect in the country as ranked by Rivals.com who has yet to commit, proved his worth on the court with a 23-point, nine-rebound effort in the win.
His most valuable play, however, may have been on a bucket he didn't score. Joseph had a chance to nearly seal the deal for Findlay with two foul shots of his own with under 10 seconds to play, but missed the second. He rushed the lane, grabbed the rebound, and forced the ball out of bounds off the foot of a St. Patrick player to maintain possession and force St. Patrick to foul.
Gilchrist, a junior top prospect, had 19 points in the loss while battling an ankle injury throughout most of the game. His limp was noticable as he ran up and down the court.
Findlay built a 12-point lead early in the second half before St. Patrick clawed back in with a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter.
It was 52-51 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. That one point was as close as St. Patrick would come.
Junior Nick Johnson buried a three for Findlay to push the lead to four. Johnson had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win, which pushed Findlay to 20-1 on the year.
St. Patrick fell to 7-1.
"I think from the fans' persepective it was everything the fans wanted," Findlay coach Michael Peck said to Masslive.com.