Terrence Moore spent a little extra time in the Heights locker room after the Falcons' 44-42 win over Bishop Carroll on Tuesday.
He was processing a difficult game and was unhappy with his performance. His dissatisfaction was probably unwarranted, though, because Moore delivered the game's most important play.
With Carroll trailing 44-42 and 10 seconds to go, Brian Rohleder got the ball on an inbounds play and looked to have a clear lane for a tying layup.
Moore made a defensive switch, which left him near the basket, and he blocked Rohleder's shot to help preserve the victory to clinch the outright league championship.
"It wasn't necessarily great defense, but it was a very athletic play by a great athlete," Heights coach Joe Auer said. "He guarded the basket. He went straight up and he guarded the basket."
Though Heights' Perry Ellis missed two free throws with less than two seconds to go, Dreamius Smith stole Carroll's fullcourt inbounds pass to seal it.
The Falcons trailed 27-19 after a Rohleder basket early in the third quarter, but they used more energy on defense and held Carroll to two baskets the rest of the quarter.
Two three-point plays by Smith helped Heights take the lead to close the third, and another three-point play in the fourth gave the Falcons what was then their biggest lead, 42-35 with 3:20 to go.
"We picked up our defense in the second half," Smith said. "With that kind of intensity, I think we can go all the way with that defense."
A Moore free throw put Heights ahead by eight, and the extra point helped because Carroll scored the next seven, making it 43-42 with 19 seconds to go.
Evan Wessel missed the second of two free throws, meaning Carroll could tie it with a two-pointer, something it appeared it was on the way to doing until Moore stopped Rohleder.
"I saw him drive down the middle and saw Dreamius got beat, so I had to make a play," Moore said.
Carroll's fast start was fueled by Blake Bell, who dominated Ellis in the post, scoring 10 points in the first quarter.
"I thought Blake Bell stood toe-to-toe with Perry Ellis," Carroll coach Lonnie Lollar said. Bell finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, Ellis scored eight points with six rebounds.
Three-pointers by Jordan Bieberle and Tanner Palmore gave the Eagles breathing room before halftime.
But the Falcons managed to speed the tempo in the third quarter, a difficult task against the grinding Eagles.
"Once they got the lead, they spread us out and we had to play chase," Auer said. "We made a defensive adjustment and applied a little more pressure and got them out of their comfort zone."
Heights (17-2, 14-1) 10 9 16 9 — 44 Bishop Carroll (7-9, 9-11) 12 13 8 9 — 42
HEIGHTS: Dobbins 1 1-2 4, Wessel 2 1-2 6, Smith 5 8-11 18, Moore 2 3-6 8, Ellis 4 0-5 8. Totals 14 (3) 13-26 44.
CARROLL: Darland 0 1-2 1, Palmore 1 0-0 3, Bell 7 3-4 18, Bieberle 3 0-0 8, Rohleder 5 2-2 12. Totals 16 (4) 6-10 42.