Wednesday hit Kapaun senior Brock Monty harder than most: Monty was playing in his final home game, as Kapaun was playing Andover in a Class 5A sub-state semifinal game. On top of that, Kapaun recognized Monty before the game for his record-setting senior season as quarterback on the football team during the fall.
“For me, today was going through a lot of memories,” Monty said. “I’ve had a great time here and there’s been a lot of great people that I can remember that have helped me out. Just a lot of memories.”
Monty added another memory on Wednesday, scoring a game-high 16 points and banking in a half-court buzzer-beater to lead the Crusaders to a 64-42 victory over Andover.
Kapaun will play Heights for the third time this season on Friday with a berth in the state tournament on the line.
“The biggest thing for me is that it just looks like he’s having fun out there playing the game and that’s really what senior year is all about,” Kapaun coach John Cherne III said. “It’s about creating memories and I think that half-court shot he had will be one of those memories he can come back and talk about 20 years from now.”
Ball-handling had been a strength of Andover (9-12) this season, maintaining an average off 11 turnovers per game. The Trojans had met their average by halftime Wednesday and Kapaun’s press forced a season-high 23 turnovers.
“We just didn’t take care of the basketball,” Andover coach Chad Wilmott said. “We panicked. We’ve handled pressure all year better than we did tonight. I don’t know why it happened tonight, but it did. We completely got away from what we know to do.”
Kapaun slowly pulled away and led 28-13 by halftime with the game’s highlight coming when sophomore Mark Hutton soared down the lane and threw down a slam dunk that ignited the crowd. The lead never dipped into single-digits for the final 21 minutes of the game.
Kapaun thrives on seeking out “kills” – three straight successful defensive stands – and the Crusaders produced four of them in the opening quarter alone.
“When you have assistants jumping up and screaming, ‘One more gets you a kill,’ ” Cherne III said, “that’s something this group has embraced and now they’re starting to take pride in it. I think it’s created some defensive intensity.”
Afterward, Monty thanked his coaches and teammates in all three sports he has competed in – football, basketball, and track – that motivated him to excel.
A win made it a successful night, and the half-court shot made it all the sweeter. But he’s not satisfied with his senior season yet.
“It’s starting to become real that it’s getting near the end,” Monty said. “Tonight was great, but there’s still a job for us to do and we’re going to be ready for Heights on Friday.”
ANDOVER: Oberg 11, Herrs 11, Kellerman 10, Short 4, Lenz 4, Lewis 2.
KAPAUN: Monty 16, Meitzner 12, Woodward 11, Wells 6, Edmiston 6, Hutton 4, Lett 3, Oatsdean 2, Channell 2, Bell 1, Eberhart 1.