NEW CASTLE — Pendleton Heights produced another of its furious fourth quarter rallies Saturday night.
But this time Richmond had an answer.
The Red Devils scored the final 14 points of the Class 4A boys basketball sectional championship game at New Castle Fieldhouse, snapping the Arabians' streak of three consecutive titles with a 63-44 victory.
While seventh-ranked Richmond (22-2) celebrated its first sectional crown in 18 years, Pendleton Heights (16-8) reflected on a battle well fought.
"I'm extremely proud of how the kids played tonight," Arabians coach Brian Hahn said. "They competed really hard. The final score is not in any way really indicative of the game."
Pendleton Heights trailed by 13 points entering the final quarter but whittled the deficit to five primarily behind the hot shooting of junior Sean McDermott.
After missing the first six games of the season recovering from a severe staph infection that hospitalized him for eight days in late November, the 6-foot-4 guard has been struggling to regain his strength. He estimated he was at about 85 percent entering the postseason and shot just 27.8 percent from the field in the Arabians' first two postseason games.
But he hit his first four shots in the final, scoring 10 points in the first quarter as Richmond escaped with a 14-13 lead.
"Sean's performance tonight showed a lot of people a little bit of what he would have been if he hadn't gotten sick," Hahn said.
McDermott shot 8-for-13 overall and 5-for-7 from 3-point range, finishing with a game-high 22 points. That was one more than Louisville-bound senior Michael Tillman, who led the Red Devils with 21 on 8-for-14 shooting.
Tillman was joined in double figures by junior Davious Webster, who scored 11 of his 18 points in the first half. But 6-foot-9 senior Zach Lett might have had the biggest influence on the game.