Bishop O’Connell (VA) set a Beach Ball Classic record by connecting on 30-of-31 free throws to lead the Knights to a 73-66 victory over Myrtle Beach (SC) in an opening round contest.
Myrtle Beach (7-3), which had not won an opening round game since 1983 when the Seahawks went to the title game, held the advantage for much of the contest and built a 16-point lead at 46-30 with 13:05 to play in the second half. Trailing 48-33 with 12:30 to play, Bishop O’Connell (6-3) used an 18-3 run to knot the score at 51-51 on a 3-point jumper by University of Maryland signee Romelo Trimble.
Myrtle Beach’s Solomon Cooper then connected on back-to-back jumpers to give the Seahawks a 55-51 advantage. The Knights answered with eight unanswered points, taking the lead for good during the run on Trimble’s driving layup with 6:11 to play.
Bishop O’Connell’s free throw percentage of 96.8 set a tournament record, breaking the record of 95.0 percent (19-20) set by South Lakes (VA) on December 31, 1989, against Eau Claire (SC). The 30 made free throws tied the single game record set by Frederick Douglas (NY) against Dominquez (CA) on December 29, 2004.
Leading the team from the charity stripe was Trimble’s perfect 15-of-15, breaking Danny Ferry’s consecutive free throws made mark of 13 set during the 1984 tournament while he was with DeMatha Catholic (MD). The 15 made free throws is the third most in tournament history, two behind the record set by Shawnee’s (NJ) Zach Martin in 1999.
Trimble paced Bishop O’Connell with 26 points, while Jamaal King came off of the bench to add 18 points for the Knights.
Myrtle Beach was led by Solomon Cooper’s 27 points. Brooks Swanson added 20 points for the Seahawks.