All season long the third quarter never seemed to like the St. Edward boys basketball team.
And in Wednesday's 70-58 Class 2A Guerin sectional loss to No. 2 seed DePaul Prep, it really didn't like St. Edward or care about the Wave's Cinderella story.
The No. 4 seed Green Wave (15-16), who for the most part looked on its game in the first half, fell into one of its common third quarter lulls, as a 1-point deficit at halftime turned into 9 quickly after the Rams (21-9) outscored St. Edward 20-12 in the third.
DePaul Prep, which pressured the Wave into 4 turnovers, managed 7 layups in the third alone and attacked the hoop relentlessly as its theme in the second half, outscoring the Wave 40-29 the final 2 quarters to get to Friday's sectional final against Chicago Orr.
"(Perry Cowan) took over inside and he was blowing past guys inside and we really didn't have an answer for that," Wave coach PJ White said of the Rams' third quarter surge. "We really didn't do much against their inside game. (Cowan) was on fire for about the first two minutes of the quarter and all of a sudden we were down by nine."
The sophomore Cowan scored 10 of his 24 points in the third while senior Freddy Nunez scored 22 points. He and Cowan were a two-man show combining for 16 points in the third, helping the Rams to 40 points in the paint on 18 total layups.
"We just talked about attacking," Rams coach Tom Kleinschmidt said. "That's what we were mad about in the first half -- we were firing up jumpers and that's what we talked about. We thought we had the quickness and athletically to get to the rim and we were firing jumpers in the first half."
Freshman Elliott Sieger also added 12 points, as he took over for the Rams in the fourth driving to the hoop when Cowan and Nunez went quiet and St. Edward attempted a comeback bid.
Down 50-41 to start the fourth, Kelvin Cortez-Harvey, who led St. Edward with 34 points along with 2 steals, managed two 3-point plays that got St. Edward within 3 with 6:40 left.
Cortez-Harvey's steal and layup with 4:50 remaining made it 56-52 DePaul Prep, but a drive by Sieger and his subsequent 3-point play with 4:01 left put the Wave down 9. A dunk by Cowan with 2:45 left to give DePaul a 63-54 lead was all she wrote for the Wave.
"They have some pretty strong guards and you have to give it to them," Cortez-Harvey said. "Defensively we shouldn't have let them get to the basket so easily, we did our best and they're a good team."
AJ Franklin added 11 points as the Wave shot 20 for 48 from the field (41.6 percent) and managed just 12 points in the paint. DePaul sizzled for a 61.3 percent clip.