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March 3, 2013Tweet
BRIARWOOD, NY - On Saturday, the CHSAA's future varsity stars competed against each other in the Freshman Intersectional championship.
The action was fast and furious as the St. Raymond Ravens and Cardinal Hayes battled for the top prize. It would be ten years in the making but the Ravens would surge late to take home the chip, 77-70.
"Our strategy was to translate our hard work and energy in practice to the game," said Ravens head coach Chris Williams. "It began with limiting their transition baskets as well as establish our low post presence."
In the opening quarter, both teams matched up well as point guard Malik Mooving (16 points) and Alonso Christian (11 points) kept St, Ray's in the hunt countered by Clive Allen (23 points) for Hayes.
Tied at 16 to begin the second quarter, Hayes moved out in front by 7 with 6 minutes remaining in the half as they managed to get points in transition. Allen was a tough cover and would extend Hayes's advantage towards the end of the quarter punctuated by a 3-ball plus an additional point with the and-1.
St. Ray's found themselves down 43-30 to begin the third quarter but closed the gap with solid defense and buckets by Cahiem Brown (18 points). With 47.8 seconds St. Ray's was within 5 points but Baron Goodridge (14 points) came up big with a late putback to give Hayes a 54-47 cushion to start the final stanza.
Brown and 6'4" big man Lydell Geffard (8 points) would come up big at the start of the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 1 point with 6:14 left in regulation. Hayes defended furiously but with 5:30, Geffard nailed a hook shot to give St. Rays a 55-54 advantage.
Marquise Drakeford (5 points) tied the game going 1 of 2 from the free-throw line on the following possession but the Ravens would once again pull away as Mooving countered, hitting both of his shots from the charity stripe.
Superior free-throw percentages would keep St. Raymond in front by four with 3:44 as Hayes was in the double bonus; a fact that was exploited by the Ravens.
Brown did a good job pushing the rock upcourt before Hayes defense could set and the Ravens were soon enjoyed a 5 lead but Allen drained a trey to cut St. Ray's lead back to two points. Missed free-throws would prevent the Cardinals from tying the game and the Ravens would score in transition.
1:53 was left in regulation and the Ravens still sat on a four point lead. Goodridge would draw a foul and execute from the foul line with 1:25 and Hayes would only be down 69-67. Brown stepped up his game and kept the Ravens up by four.
"I really got in [Brown] in the locker room at the half and he was really the difference maker in the second half," said Coach Williams."He was huge."
Pedro Marquez (13 points) drew a foul and had a chance to cut the lead to one but would go 0 for 2. A violation by St. Ray's in the lane would give Marquez a second try and he'd hit one.
Up two, St. Ray's would give Hayes another opportunity to score with a turnover on the inbounds but the Cardinals were unable to score. Christian would score two free-throws to extend the Ravens lead to four with 29 second. Two critical back-to-back blocks by Geffard would give the ball back to St. Rays who would run out the clock.
Winning the championship for the school, who hadn't won in a decade, was gratifying said Williams but there was also another statistic that was on his mind. "We loss to those guys three times this year," said Williams. "Our guys really worked hard this year. Everyone got better. I couldn't ask for a better team."
New York NEWS