Paul VI escapes with seven OT win over Archbishop Wood
By Andrew Robinson
WARMINSTER -- It was a game that had people talking about it before it
It was a game that at one point had Archbishop Wood boys basketball coach
John Mosco ask the players who hadn’t yet fouled out to gather in front
of him. It was a game that every time it felt like it was over, it
simply wasn’t, at least the first six overtimes.
In a blend of equal parts riveting and ridiculous, nationally ranked Paul
VI of Virginia escaped with a 130-128 seven-overtime victory over the
Vikings to wrap up the third annual Diane Mosco Foundation Shootout at
“I think everyone got their 10 dollars’ worth,” Mosco said, the wriest of
smiles on his face.
“In one of the timeouts, I said ‘whoever is left, whoever didn’t foul
out, go sit down,’ I didn’t know who we still had in the game. It was
back-and-forth, they threw a punch, we threw a punch. I looked up at one
point and asked why are people leaving? It was everything you could want
as a fan.”
Again, this was a game that crossed into the fabled UConn-Syracuse realm
of extra sessions, so yeah, there was quite a bit of entertainment to be
had. According to NFHS.org, the combined 258 points was the 11th highest
scoring total ever in a high school game.
Upon hearing that fact, Mosco had another quality line ready.
“There were 10 games with more than that?” the Wood coach asked.
NFHS also lists 13 as the most overtimes played in a high school game
nationally, but there were no games of seven or more listed for
Pennsylvania. (see above for details on eight-OT game in Pa.)
It’s not fair to ignore regulation, since that was the reason for all the
overtime in the first place. Rahsool Diggins and Marcus Randolph carried
Wood early, combining for the first 18 points while Daeshon Shepherd
found himself in early foul trouble.
In one of just many quirks of the game, Randolph and Diggins would foul
out while Shepherd, who picked up three fouls in the first half,
finished the game on the floor.
Paul VI, ranked No. 4 in the country by MaxPreps, was a little more
balanced in the first half and the teams traded runs until Wood closed
the first half on a 10-0 spree for a 36-29 halftime lead. The Vikings
carried it over and were tremendous as a team in the third quarter with
Jaylen Stinson hitting a three just before the buzzer to give the hosts
a 57-42 lead.
“It was, by far, the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of,” Stinson
said. “When Marcus and ‘Sool fouled out, I still had Daeshon and Muneer
(Newton) but it was my time to take over. These games, we play them in
honor of our coach’s wife and they mean a lot to him. As long as we put
our heart out on the court, I know he’d be happy with that.”
Newton had a two-handed dunk and Shepherd threw down a fastbreak windmill
to put Wood up 66-50 with 6:05 left in the fourth. Unfortunately for the
Vikings, they would not be able to close out the quarter on top.
A mixture of turnovers and missed shots, plus some determined finishing
by the Panthers helped Paul VI whittle the lead down. Wood had three
crucial turnovers in the last 40 seconds that all led to at least a
point for Paul VI before Trevor Keels sent the game to overtime.
For Keels, it was a matter of good defense beating good offense. Shepherd
forced the Paul VI forward into a deep try on the left wing, but the
shot was destined to go in and extend the game.
“That was a new experience, we fought, we battled, we kept playing,”
Shephed said. “I had to keep myself in the game because by the end, I
was the only one who could do everything we needed. I had to keep my
teammates up and just played harder.”
For both teams, it was sort of a next-man-up approach as the war of
skills turned war of wills and finally war of attrition as each passing
overtime got added to the book. For Wood, the early Diggins and Randolph
run was replaced by a superb effort from Stinson from the fourth quarter
to the fourth overtime with Shepherd taking the closing leg.
Paul VI was spurred late by the spectacular Jeremy Roach and when he
fouled out, sophomore Dug McDaniel stepped up big time and was a major
reason the game kept going as long as it did. McDaniel, who scored all
21 of his points in the fourth quarter or later, did eventually foul out
but Keels and DeShawn Harris-Smith carried the torch after.
A steal and layup by McDaniel helped erase a four-point Wood lead in the
first OT, while a late Stinson score in the second led to the third.
Stinson, who finished with 31 points, said he did not lack for
motivation or will to keep going even as he fought through a calf cramp
in the third overtime session.
“I, honestly, it was everybody in the crowd telling me ‘come on,’ I got
my teammates tell me ‘yo, it’s your time,’ our alumni here, Collin
(Gillespie) and Julius (Phillips) letting me know it was my time,”
Stinson said. “They installed that battery in my back and it was just go
“We understand the game is still serious but at the same time, you still
have to have fun with it. Each overtime, Coach asked us ‘can we win the
game,’ but as the game progressed, we just kept losing players and the
next guy kept fighting.”
Down two, McDaniel canned a pair of foul shots with 43.4 in the third
overtime to bring about the fourth before Shepherd got revenge. Jack
Jensen split a pair at the line with 2.6 left, allowing Wood to inbound
and Shepherd to zoom up the floor and get off a three that swished in at
“I was proud of how we fought, proud of ‘Sool and proud of Jaylen,”
Shepherd, who led Wood with 35 points, said. “I’m proud of this whole
“I’m not disappointed in myself for not closing the game out, I’m proud
of myself because I kept my team in the game and didn’t give up. We
learn from that, we’ve been through it now.”
Roach, a five-star Duke recruit, and Keels, a four star with offers from
Duke, Virginia and Villanova among others, tied for the Paul VI lead
with 30 points each while Freeman added 20 but it was Tyler Coleman that
stood as the last starter remaining and he would hit two important free
throws in the final overtime.
Harris-Smith gave Paul VI the lead for good with a driving bucket to
start the seventh extra frame, Luke Triggs hit two foul shots and the
big hit came on a trey by Reiss Whittaker for a 127-120 lead.
Wood tried its hardest, but couldn’t get closer than two points before a
final shot fell short at the end of the marathon. Stinson finished with
31 points, Diggins had 26 and Randolph 16 to join Shepherd’s 35.
“They left everything on the floor and did everything they could to win
the game, we had guys you wouldn’t even know are on the team out there,”
Mosco said. “Daeshon Shepherd showed up today, you know about Rahsool,
you know about Jaylen but Daeshon really proved he belongs tonight. It
was a great game all around.”
Gillespie, the junior point guard at Villanova, was far from the only
Wildcats representation in the gym. Sophomore forward Brandon Slater, a
Paul VI graduate, was part of a contingent of players who came with
Gillespie while coach Jay Wright watched from the baseline.
Anybody in the game, whether it was a national championship winning coach
or just someone hoping to see a good game got a lot to process on their
“We learned how much of a team we are,” Stinson said. “Everybody stayed
together through the ups and downs, however many overtimes we played,
everybody was up on the bench, things like that. Our chemistry, it was
real eye-opening for me.”
“It’s basically playing two games in a row,” Shepherd said. “I don’t even
know what else to say, I’m so tired I can’t even talk.”
As if all of Saturday’s theatrics weren’t enough, the Wood players and
coaches also had to be at the airport at 4 a.m. Sunday morning to catch
a flight to Hawai’i. Wood will play in the ‘Iolani Classic out there but
all Stinson and Shepherd could think about was where they could find
Mosco, who was at the school all day running the showcase, hadn’t
expected a four-hour, seven-overtime game to complicate those plans.
“I still have to go pack,” he said. “(Paul VI coach) Glenn (Farello) is a
good friend of mine and for him and all their coaches to come up here
and do this for me, I appreciate them and their program.”