Cardinals hold off Terriers in OT thriller
The semifinals of the CHSAA Spring League featured a prime-time matchup of St. Francis Prep (5-0) and Cardinal Hayes, a winner of 4 straight. Each team features several college prospects who their divisions in league play. Hayes were able to use a huge third quarter, which helped sparked their overtime 60-57 victory.
In the first half the Terriers came out firing on all cylinders. They were able to connect on multiple threes, including a big effort from 6”3 Senior combo guard Todd Rochelle. While the Cardinals were able to get some offense from 6”8, Junior forward, Tobe Awaka, they still found themselves down 18-12 after the 1st quarter.
The second quarter began, and Terrier’s offense was continuing to flow, with buckets from “23 Guard, Josh Pascarelli and “22 Guard, Chance Morrish. St. Francis was scoring at will, getting great look after great look on each possession. Hayes was able to gain some momentum from 5”11 Junior point guard Darrell Victory, scoring and applying pressure to the Terriers. Cardinal began digging in defensively, stringing multiple stops together and ended up beating them in the quarter.
St. Francis Prep, up 30-25 at the half, suddenly hit a major wall. The Cardinals were able to completely take over the game with a monster quarter led by Awaka inside. Prep unable to get anything to fall or many stops, lost the lead and quarter 15-4.
Hayes kept the pedal to the floor in the 4th, looking inside to Awaka, who picked up his 4th foul early in the quarter. The Terriers answered with back-to-back threes from Pascarelli and Morrish, tying the game but layups by Victory and Awaka kept the Cardinals up 4. Awaka continued to score inside as Pascarelli and company traded baskets back and forth until a huge three by Morrish gave Prep a 49-48 lead.
The Cardinals trapped St. Francis Prep and Awaka stole the ball and was fouled. He went 1/2 and was called for a loose ball foul, ending his night with 2:17 to go. The score being tied at 49, each team got multiple looks but was unable to convert anything and headed to Overtime.
In Overtime the Terriers were able to connect on a three but was answered by Victory to keep the score at 52-52. Rochelle nailed a tough step back two but was answered by “22, 6”8 wing, Ty Foster, who had a nice finish on the left side. Hayes continuing look for offense without Awaka, got a big offensive put back and jumper from “24 m, Guard, Elijah Moore. St. Francis Prep, now down 58-56, turned the ball over, sending Victory to the line, where he would convert 1 of 2. The Terriers, with a shot to win, was fouled with 6 seconds, where Rochelle would go 1/2. Hayes, after a free throw lead 60-57, got a crucial stop on the Terriers, who were unable to get a look.
Hayes moves on to the championship, where they will play the winner of game 2, between Stepinac and Xaverian. Rochelle led the way for the Terriers but Awaka lead all scorers, with 25 points and some big moments from Victory.