Sure enough, he clanked it well enough for teammate Joel Berroa (a game-high 25 points) to get his hands on it for a potential tying basket, but Costello knocked it out of Berroa’s hands and dribbled out the clock.
Costello was still in a bit of a daze after the game, trying to recall the sequence that led to his winning basket.
“I honestly didn’t know how much time was left,” said Costello. “I thought it was going to be a buzzer-beating shot. I was dribbling and I kind of lost (the ball), but when I got it back I just took it. I’d hit a three (with 33 seconds left, giving the Prep a 59-58 lead) a little earlier, so I felt pretty good about taking the last shot.”
Senior point guard Tyler Dooley (10) and senior forward Josh Syska (10) joined Costello and Bullen as double digit scorers for the Eagles. In fact, everyone who played made some sort of contribution for SJP, whether it was playing tenacious defense, pulling down rebounds or just setting picks. That’s what it takes to beat Central Catholic, which was absolutely relentless in making a fabulous comeback in the second half. Central actually led 56-54 and then 58-56 down the stretch.
“Well, you know that Central wasn’t going to go away — they never go away,” said Prep head coach Sean Connolly. “Berroa just killed us in the second half. He does everything incredibly well. He’s one of the best players in the state; might even be the best player in the state.
“I just think our kids toughed it out at the end. Drex has made big shots for us before and did it again tonight.”
Central coach Ricky Nault had nothing but high praise for Connolly’s game plan and the way the Eagles executed it.