The Bishop Ireton boys basketball team is off to its best start in 13 years, thanks in part to junior Brian Kadish and the United States Air Force.
Kadish moved to the Washington area from Bedford, Mass., after his father, an officer in the Air Force, was transferred to Bolling Air Force Base over the summer. Last night Kadish scored a team-high 20 points to lead Ireton to a 62-59 overtime victory over Wilson in the semifinals of the St. Albans Holiday Hoopla tournament.
Ireton (8-1) will face No. 10 O'Connell in the final at 8:30 tonight. The Knights defeated host St. Albans, 58-53, in the second semifinal.
Kadish, a 6-foot guard, was a reserve until Cardinals co-captain Kevin Hogan broke his arm and wrist in a game against Landon earlier this season. His insertion into the starting lineup has helped propel the Cardinals to an eight-game winning streak.
"Brian has really helped make us a deeper team, and he is probably our best defender," Ireton Coach Pete Hamer said. "I was an Air Force brat myself and went to two or three different high schools, so I know how hard that can be. But we are very grateful he decided to come here."
Wilson (4-7) led 54-48 following two free throws by junior Marcus Greene with 1 minute 16 seconds left in the game. Ireton closed within 54-51 with 1:08 left following a three-pointer by junior Mike Brunais. After Wilson turned the ball over, Ireton's Seldon Lindsay's three-point play pulled Ireton even at 54 with 51.6 seconds left.
Wilson then turned the ball over again with 2.1 seconds left, but Ireton missed a desperation 30-foot shot at the buzzer. But in overtime, Lindsay had another three-point play to give Ireton a 57-54 lead it did not lose. Wilson got the ball trailing by three with 2.6 seconds left but its inbounds pass was intercepted.
"Right now things are going great," Kadish said. "Playing basketball has helped me meet people and I think we have a good team. Everyone here has been telling me about playing [Washington Catholic Athletic Conference members] DeMatha and O'Connell and I am looking forward to that."
Kadish will get to play O'Connell sooner than he thought. The Knights (9-0) used an 8-0 spurt early in the fourth quarter--with six points from Brandon Powers and two from Brett Herberger--to take a 49-37 lead with 3:29 left.
Powers finished with 12 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Senior guard Adam Harper had 13 points to lead St. Albans (5-2).
Notes: In the consolation games, The Heights made 19 of 22 free throws to beat Sidwell Friends, 61-47, and Maret defeated Theodore Roosevelt, 61-59, in overtime.