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No. 6 Norfolk Collegiate storms back in the fourth quarter to beat No. 11 Catholic in TCIS match-up

NORFOLK — Catholic has dominated the series against Norfolk Collegiate, winningseven of the last nine meetings, including the past three heading into their Tidewater Conference showdown on Tuesday.

And for three quarters it looked as though the No. 11 Crusaders were going to continue the dominance.

But the sixth-ranked Oaks used a 15-4 run in the fourth quarter to come from behind and beat visiting Catholic 52-51.

“We’ve been looking forward to this game as a team,” said Oaks senior guard Rashaad Williams. “We lost to them two years in a row, we just wanted to win.”

Catholic ended the third quarter on a 5-0 run and carried that momentum into the fourth quarter with three more points to take a 39-32 lead with 6:44 left.

Slowly, the Oaks chipped away at the deficit, including four points from guard Brennan Chatman.

They continued to cut into the lead when guard Justin Burrough scored on a strong move inside to give Norfolk Collegiate a 43-42 lead with 2:05 left. After a turnover, guard Khalil Caple’s 3-pointer pushed the lead to 47-43 with 1:32 left.

After the teams exchanged baskets, Catholic forward Alex Pissis hit a 3-pointer with 30.1 seconds left to make it 49-48.

But Williams, a senior, sealed the game as he made 3 of 4 free throws in the final 15.1 seconds.

“I just had to stay focused,” said Williams about his free throws. “We practice this every day, so I wasn’t nervous.”

Norfolk Collegiate coach Junior Burrough said this was a big win for the program. Four of the last six games against Catholic have been decided by two points or less.

“Every time we play them, it’s been like this,” said the former University of Virginia standout. “They’ve been the standard of our conference for the last couple of years. So anytime we can compete with them and have the game come down to a couple of possessions, I feel like we’ve done our job.”

Williams, who also had four steals and drew two charges, said this game is hopefully the beginning of bigger things to come for the Oaks.

“We took care of business, but this isn’t it,” said Williams, who finished with a team-high 16 points. “We want to get a TCIS championship and a state championship. So we still have a lot to do.”

The Oaks (16-3) also got help from Chatman and Burrough, who finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Burrough also added 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Catholic (14-6) was led by Ashton Walker (16 points), Brayden Thorne (13 points), Josiah Rickards (12 points) and Pissis (10 points).

Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449, larry.rubama@pilotonline.com