With a game on the line, Corey Dolison delivers once again for Catholic Memorial basketball

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FRANKLIN – Corey Dolison organizes a tournament himself.

Just four days after draining a game-winning 3-pointer to beat Attleboro in the Round of 16, the Catholic Memorial junior showed more icy water in his veins on Tuesday night, knocking down a pair of free throws with 6.9 seconds left in the game. overtime as the 21st-seeded Les Knights upset No. 5 Franklin, 81-78, in the Division 1 Round of 16.

“Corey is the closest,” said smiling CM coach Denis Tobin. “We call it the closest. He knows how to close games for us. He’s done it twice in a row now.

With the gym buzzing with rabid energy around him, Dolison (13 points) made up for a 1-and-1 late in regulation by calmly sinking two from the boards to put CM by three.

“I knew I had to knock them down,” said Dolison, one of six Knights to finish in double figures in points. “I missed the first one when I went to the line [earlier] so I knew I had to catch up. I closed it and our team got the “W”.

CM, who starts no seniors and was eyeing a 5-12 record less than a month ago, cemented their place as the Cinderella of the Division 1 tournament with their second surprise from a higher-seeded team and their fifth straight win overall. .

“We’re just peaking at the right time,” said sophomore Peter Gellen, who led CM with 16 points.

Tobin added: “We wouldn’t have won a month ago. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the last month. They’ve come together and they’ve gained a lot of trust, which makes a huge difference.

Early on, it looked like the Knights (10-12) would be heading to the state quarterfinals as they built a 19-point lead thanks to a hot shooting second quarter (5 of 8 in depth). But Franklin – who used his length to dominate the boards all night, finishing with a 36-24 advantage on the glass – rode a 22-8 run from the end of the second quarter to the middle of the third quarter to scratch in all five, highlighted by a 3-point trio from senior Sean Vinson (22 points, 9 rebounds). CM responded with his own push, building a 12-point lead with six minutes left.

The Panthers (21-4) had one final rally in them, sparked by seven quick points from second Sean O’Leary (18 points, 6 boards) before second Henry DiGiorgio (16 points, 3 steals) dispatched the gymnasium into a frenzy when he drilled a 3-pointer to go ahead 68-66 with 39 seconds remaining in regulation. It was Franklin’s first lead since 4-2.

“We told them to expect a run,” Tobin said. “We were hoping we would respond and they wouldn’t catch us, but to their credit they are a good team and they caught us.”

After a free throw from junior Franklin Ben Harvey (20 points, 10 rebounds) made it 69-66, second CM Matthew St. Martin (13 points) drove for a layup, drawing the foul and connecting on the and-1 attempt to send the game to overtime tied at 69.

The Knights, who managed just nine points in the fourth quarter, scored 12 in the four-minute overtime, courtesy of 3-pointers from Donilson and Gellen. CM travels to No. 3 Springfield Central (20-2) in the quarterfinals on Saturday (4:30 p.m.).

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