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December 14, 2013

Long Island Tops Buffalo (Day 1)

HICKSVILLE, NY - Friday was the inaugural Long Island vs. Buffalo Catholic School Basketball Challenge at Holy Trinity H.S. The highlight of the two games was supposed to be between Holy Trinity and Nichols School.

Both schools are contenders to win their respective leagues, but when one team has it going, it can be tough to stop, and the Titans had it going on Friday. They came out from the start and shot the lights out en route to an 86-56 blowout victory.

Holy Trinity was feeling it from long range from the start, with junior wing Jimmy Golaszewski stroking a pair of threes in the opening minutes, and that was soon followed by long range makes by Jack Sixsmith, Billy Sixsmith, and Peter Alkins. The Titans sliced up the Nichols zone, as the Vikings continued to sit back in the 2-3 zone, which gave Trinity easy looks from deep.

It wasn't a pretty homecoming for Nichols coach John Reinholz, who was making his return to Holy Trinity, having graduated from the school over 20 years ago. His star 6'8" big man Tanner Schmit was out with an ankle injury he suffered in practice on Thursday, and 6'6" wing Cameron Lewis was saddled with 2 fouls early on. Add on the fact that the Titans made 10 first half threes, and it's a recipe for disaster. Nichols junior big man Chris Miner was the lone star in the opening 16 minutes for the Vikings, scoring 8 points, but it was 47-32 at the break for the home team, and Holy Trinity head coach Joe Conefry felt that the quick start really helped set the tone for his squad.

"Jimmy got off to a quick start, and then other guys got in the zone, and we were able to hit a lot of shots which certainly doesn't hurt," Conefry said.

The 3rd quarter ended up essentially ending all hope that the Vikings had of a comeback, as sloppy passing by Nichols, and more made perimeter shots by Holy Trinity pushed the lead past the point of no return, and when Bradley Eugene threw down a monster dunk for the Titans right before the end of the 3rd, the crowd that was on hand rose to applaud not just the dunk, but the Holy Trinity play overall, and they opened up a monster 76-40 lead through 3.

Most of the benches played the final quarter, though Lewis showed why he is so highly thought of in New York as one of the top juniors upstate, scoring 10 points, and showing nice handle for someone his size, but it was too little, too late, and the Titans continued their dominant early season play with the 86-56 win over Nichols.

Alkins paced all scorers for Holy Trinity with 20 points, but the Titans had 5 players in double figures, with Golaszewski adding 17, and both Sixsmith brothers tallying 13 in the win.

Lewis led Nichols in the loss with 18, 10 of which came in the final quarter with the Titans calling off the dogs, while Miner added 15 as well in defeat.

Kellenberg 81- St. Joe's Collegiate 71

The Firebirds led from start to finish in this one to give the Long Island schools a 2-0 advantage on the day over their Buffalo counterparts. Senior guard Ryan Durney paced Kellenberg with 22 points in the victory with Steve Torre chipping in 17 as well.

Justin Hollins was impressive in defeat for St. Joe's, with the 6'2" senior scoring a game high 35 points in the loss, 22 of which came in the 2nd half, while sophomore Justin Jones added 13 as well in the loss.

Snow or no snow, the Long Island vs. Buffalo Basketball Challenge continues on Saturday with Kellenberg squaring off with Nichols School at 12pm, and Holy Trinity facing St. Joe's Collegiate at 1:30pm from Holy Trinity H.S.

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