NYCHoops - CHSAA Freshmen Semifinals
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CHSAA Freshmen Semifinals

MIDDLE VILLAGE, NY – Four teams convened on Tuesday evening at Christ the King Regional H.S. to compete in the semifinal round of the CHSAA Freshmen playoffs. Both game were action packed and evenly matched.

Cardinal Hayes takes out Archbishop Stepinac in OT, 66 – 56

The Stepinac Crusaders lurched out in front as Mamadou Traore and Joel Baez attacked the rim but 6’6” Tobe Awake was the Cardinals equalizer as he dominated the boards on both ends of the court. At the end of the first half, the game was knotted at 28.

The second quarter was similar to the first half with both teams going from zero to sixty in a heartbeat and remaining at that tempo. Hayes picked up offense from C.J. Riley along with big man Tyliek “Bully” Weeks. The Crusaders counter with limited offense from its starting five except for Traore who carried the load. Somewhat successful, Hayes only trailed by a point as fourth quarter got underway.

The Cardinals’ bigs were the story of the fourth quarter as Awaka continued his dominance in the paint with the help of Weeks. Stepinac took the air as Todd Smith, Jr. reined down three-pointers with Traore consistently in attack mode.

The game was once again tied, 54 apiece, at the end of regulation and while the NBA is a make of miss league so his high school basketball. Stepinac was only able to muster up 2 out of four freethrows in overtime while Cardinal Hayes scored 11 points

Awaka led Cardinal Hayes with 21 points, double-digit rebounds and blocked shot with Riley contributing 17 points. Traore swished a game high 30 points.

St. Raymond eliminates St. Francis Prep, 77 – 67

St. Raymond eliminates St. Francis Prep, 77 – 66

The game started and ended at a frenetic pace but St. Ray’s always seemed to get that one-up bucket that gave them a slight momentum advantage. Jade-Lei Encarnacion and Elijah Castillo scored big numbers for the Ravens which countered St. Francis Preps offense by Darnell Victory, and Latiek Briscoe.

With St. Francis Prep constantly nipping at their heels, the Ravens made a run to beat back a hard charging Terriers squad that was applying enormous defensive pressure. St. Raymond weathered the storm, improving on their 32 - 27 halftime lead.

Down by 12 points to start the final quarter, the Terriers had an uphill fight on their hands. Unfortunately for St. Francis Prep, buckets by Victory, Briscoe and Chance Morrish would still leave the Terriers devoid of a win.