LIVINGSTON -- Central Catholic takes round one.
The two Western Athletic Conference heavyweights squared off in Livingston with Central Catholic escaping with an 85-77 win in overtime on Tuesday night in front of a large crowd.
Mike Wilson's boys were able to overcome Livingston's feverish pressure and take the first of three matchups between the two teams.
"This puts us in the driver's seat until we play them again. Then we'll see what happens," said Wilson, whose team won their eighth straight game to improve to 3-0 in the WAC and 12-3 overall.
It wasn't looking good early for Central Catholic.
Wilson's guards struggled against Livingston's full-court press, turning the ball over and failing to get the ball inside to take advantage of Central's size.
Livingston used runs of 9-0 and 7-0 in the second quarter to take a 37-27 lead into intermission.
Gurpreet Sangha started the game hitting three straight 3-pointers and scored 18 of his game-high 31 points in the first half.
"We got our kids to settle down at halftime," Wilson said. "We ran our press break like we're supposed to run it."
Anthony Alamo and Dylan Eades started knocking down some shots on the perimeter and that opened things up for center Dusty Killian (22 points) inside.
Central erased an 11-point deficit by closing the third quarter with a 20-5 run and opened up a 63-54 lead midway through the fourth .
However, Livingston answered back and even took a 71-69 lead on a Chris Modi basket with 45 seconds left. Modi finished with 21 points.
Killian's bucket tied the game at 71-71 with 21 seconds left.
Modi misfired on a 3 at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
Central Catholic quickly took control with a 12-2 run. Central's Nick Fenn scored seven of his nine points in the extra period.
"Free throws were the difference," said Livingston coach Angelo Naldi, whose team made 25 of 43 from the line. "If we make one more free throw in regulation we win or we make one more stop."
Central Catholic 19 8 27 17 14 -- 85
Livingston 19 18 12 22 7 -- 77
CENTRAL CATHOLIC -- Brian Alvarez 15, Chris Modi 21, Gursewak Baines 6, Gurpreet Sangha 31, Daniel Del Real 1, Chris Brown 4. Totals: 23 25-43 77.
LIVINGSTON -- Anthony Alamo 7, Liam Smith 11, Ky Wilson 9, Dylan Eades 10, Nick Fenn 9, Matt Shinkwin 5, Dan Hulst 12, Dusty Killian 22. Totals: 34 15-27 85.
3-pointers: Livingston 6 (Sangha 4, Bains 1, Alvarez 1), Central Catholic 2 (Wilson 1, Alamo 1); Team Fouls: Livingston 27, Central Catholic 28; Fouled Out -- Sangha (L), Brown (L), Alamo (C), Wilson (C).
Records: Central Catholic 3-0 WAC, 12-3 overall; Livingston 2-1, 11-3 overall.
JV -- Central Catholic 62-61.
Freshmen -- Central Catholic won.