Everything seemed to be going Hopkins' way in the Fairchester Athletic Association semifinals Friday at second-seeded St. Luke's. The Hilltoppers had built up a commanding 10-point lead behind Westport's Lucas Hausman's game-high 25-point performance. St. Luke's was smothered by Hopkins' zone defense. The game looked well in hand with 6:50 to play.
Then the fouls came. St. Luke's was a whopping 19-for-27 from the free throw line, finishing the game on a 21-8 run. St. Luke's star shooter Steve Johnston, held in check for most of the game, found his stroke and netted 13 of his 22 points during that run.
Despite blowing the lead, Hopkins had one more shot to send the game into overtime. A three-point attempt by Darren O'Brien of Fairfield clanked off the rim, ending the Hilltoppers run, 61-58.
Hausman was nearly perfect from the free throw line, finishing 12-for-13. But the rest of the Hopkins lineup was only three-for-six in free throw shooting.
Nolan Paige of Fairfield finished with nine points, all from three-point range. O'Brien contributed six points, also three-pointers. Peter McGrath of Fairfield helped anchor the Hopkins defense.
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