Even with his team down by 20 points at the half, O’Fallon coach Brian Muniz saw nothing that needed adjusting beyond the Panthers’ attitudes.
It came back with a flourish.
O’Fallon rallied back from its 20-point hole to defeat Lausanne Collegiate High School 59-54 in the consolation bracket quarterfinals of the 75th annual Centralia Holiday Tournament on Friday.
The Panthers (5-5) will play at 10 a.m. Saturday. The consolation championship game will be played at 6 p.m.
“It was just our intensity,” Muniz said of the third-quarter surge. “They didn’t respond well to our pressure, so we just kept doing it. All of the sudden we started hitting some shots, and I think they lost some confidence.
“It was the whole team. To play that hard to come back in 16 minutes took a great effort from our rotation guys and from our defense. Once we got the tie, we didn’t let down like sometimes happens.”
With a 19-5 third-quarter run, O’Fallon worked its way to within six points. Teron Bowman II hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Jalen Hodge hit free throws to bring the Panthers even at 46-46.
The game was tied with 27 seconds left when Ronnie Anthony completed a conventional 3-point play and Bowman converted a pair of free throws to complete the comeback.
O’Fallon was out-shot by Lausanne, 38.5 to 27.3 percent, and outrebounded 44-34. But Boman scored a career-best 26 points, and Hodge added 15. Hodge and Robert Hayes had six rebounds each.
“At the half, coach got on us at the half. We just had to have faith in each other,” Bowman said. “We lost yesterday, and it was a game we should have won on the winners side of the bracket. We couldn’t go out with two L’s, so we just kept fighting.
Jale Montgomery, Alden Applewhite and Cameron Sims scored 10 points each to lead Lausanne, which traveled from Memphis.
Cahokia 58, Collierville 50
Cahokia bounced back from a disappointing first-round loss Thursday to advance in the consolation bracket semifinals in Centralia.
Three Comanches reached double figures in a 58-50 win over Collierville (Tenn.). Kendez Basquine, who entered the game having scored just two points in six games played, led Cahokia with 13 points. Shamon Hudson and Elijah Rice scored 10 each.
Collierville senior Jalen Lynn scored a game-high 28, but the Dragons got scoring from just three other players. They shot just 37.5 percent from the field, including three 3-pointers in 17 attempts.
Cahokia, meanwhile, shot an efficient 55 percent behind Basquine, who was 5 of 7. The Comanches also won the battle under the boards, outrebounding Collierville 29-21.
The Comanches (5-5) will take on South Seven Conference rival Mount Vernon at 10 a.m. Saturday. The consolation championship is at 6 p.m.
Alton 64, Mundelein Carmel 61
Kevin Caldwell drained a 3-point basket with 1.7 seconds left to put the Redbirds into the Centralia Holiday Tournament semifinals.
Alton trailed by two when the team’s second-leading scorer hit the off-balance shot. The Carmel bench called a timeout, leading to a technical foul since it had already used its last one. Caldwell missed both free-throw attempts, but the technical also awarded the Redbirds possession at halfcourt.
Donovan Clay was able to stretch the lead to three when he was fouled on the inbound pass. Carmel’s half-court shot skipped high off the top of the backboard.
Caldwell finished with 15 points with four rebounds and four assists. Josh Rivers added 13 points with a game-high eight boards, and Malik Smith contributed 12 points.
Alton (9-1) will face Southwestern Conference rival Belleville West in the tournament semifinals at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.