BRONX, NY - The stage has been set for Thursday's CHSAA Intersectional Semifinals at Fordham University.
The four finalists not only won the Quarterfinals in convincing fashion but contend that their wins were statement games to their upcoming opponents. Here are brief recaps of Sunday's game.
Cardinal Hayes Unhinges Holy Cross, 63-40
A strong opening by Nathan Ekwu (11 points) and 5'9" senior PG Jamal Smith (9 points) pushed Hayes to an 11-2 opening quarter, mostly off of transition baskets. 6'3" senior Joshua Wallace (21 points) tried to stir things up for Holy Cross but to no avail. Midway through the second quarter with PG Shavar Newkirk (8 points) running the show, Hayes would still be ahead 17-4 as Ekwu slammed it down.
6'5" freshman Christian Wilson (5 points) finally knocked down a 3-ball for Holy Cross which got the Knights going but they still trailed, 24-9 at the half.
Holy Cross exchanged baskets but Chris Robinson (8 points) swished a three-pointer and scored in transition, further extending separation for Hayes who now led, 33-15 at the 3:45 mark. It soon became a clinic as Knights fell behind by 22. Hayes subbed out the majority of their starters before the quarter ended.
Cross down 41-17 to start the fourth and Hayes increased their lead to 33 as future Hayes stars Clive Allen (7 points) and Akintoye Ojo (2 points) got a chance to show his wares. With 3:30. Holy Cross also subbed out and their season soon ended.
"That was just a statement game," said Newkirk with regard to such a dominant win against the Knights. "When you keep team's around that's when miracles happen. That's what happened when we played St. Peter's." During the regular season, Hayes suffered their only loss of the season to the St. Peter's but have now beaten them twice since then.
Christ the King dominates St. Raymond, 77-53
CK jumps out in front 6-2 as Adonis Delarosa (15 points & 11 rebounds) dominated. Kayvon Williams picks up two quick offensive fouls which stymied the Ravens but their point guard 5'10" junior Tory Ferguson (15 points) tied the game at 6 with 2:12.
6'0" senior Bryler Paige (3 points) and Dela Rosa put the Royals back on top and a runner by Andre Walker (14 points & 6 assists) at the buzzer gave the Christ the King a 13-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
6'5" freshman Sidney Wilson (4 points) tied the game again at 13 for the Ravens out the box with a trey while 6'8"big man Luis Santos (13 points) delivered a block on Dela Rosa but Walker kept the momentum on the Royals side of the court as he pushed the pace.
A corner three-ball by Rawle Alkins (13 points) jettisoned the Christ the Kings lead to eight while 6'0" sophomore Jared Rivers (7 points) did a good job of disrupting the Raven's flow defensively. Christ the King finished strong, leading 33-26 at the half, as Travis Atson (19 points & 11 rebounds) battled on the boards.
In the third quarter, Christ the King began to get even more separation as a dunk in transition by Alkins and a putback by Atson forced Ravens Head Coach Jorge Lopez to stop the bleeding with a timeout, down 46-28 at the 2:40 mark.
The Ravens looked to inch back into the game in the fourth quarter as they got their deficit to eleven but an Atson dunk on the run helped spearhead yet another Christ the King run that ultimately kept St. Ray's hopes at bay permanently
"We want to play Cardinal Hayes [in the semifinals]," said Christ the King Head Coach Joe Arbitello after the win. "We want to play them. We didn't want Holy Cross to upset them. It will be a good game."
St. Peter's Manhandles Molloy, 79-68
In what promised to be the most evenly matched game of the day, two caliber point guards in Glenn Sanabria (15 points) for St. Peter's and C.J. Davis (13 points) for Molloy would be tasked with leading their respective squads . The Eagle struck first as 6'3" senior Jamir Ferebee (10 points) and 6'3" junior Reilly Walsh (27 points) shot from the perimeter and hit the bottom of the net.
Molloy responded but another Reilly trey set them back 13-5. 6'4" senior Gabe Kilpatrick (9 points) came out with a basket for the Stanners but St. Peter's not only countered but got a turnover and another special delivery trey by Reilly. The Stanners found themselves down 22-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Sanabria came out blazing in the second quarter and St. Peter's lead grew to 17 points midway through the quarter and the Eagle sprung out in front, 41-23 at the half
The Eagles continued where they left off in the third quarter as Reilly drained a 3-ball from the top of the key. Down 22 early in the quarter, Molloy needed answers to the many questions that St. Peter's were asking.
Molloy began exchanging baskets with the Eagles as 6'2" junior D'Ante Warren (16 points) heated up but the Stanners needed to get defensive stops. A Kilpatrick putback with 4:26 only pulled the Stanners to within 20. 6'0" senior Latrell Curtis (24 points) punted St. Peter's back to 24 points and the Eagle led 66-41 to start the 4th
Molloy became their own worst enemy in the fourth. A dunk by 6'5" senior Jayson Cethoute (9 points) resulted in a tech due to a post-dunk celebratory chin-up. A missed basket would end in a transition dunk by Curtis. 5:10 remained and Curtis would draw a foul and hit his 1000th point .
Comfortably ahead 73-49 with 4:19 to play, St. Peter's would advance to the next round in a final score that was not indicative of how finite the beating was
"People just think we're just a Staten Island team coming in," said Reilly. "No one expects us to win anything so we know that if we go in and play hard we have a great chance of winning this."
Bishop Loughlin Harpoons Iona Prep, 78-58
The game was close throughout the first quarter as point guard Ty Jerome (16 points) scored eight of Iona Preps first 11 points while showing off his superior passing skill-set. Bishop Loughlin would have a field day with the Gaels zone and led 16-13 after the first quarter
Iona Prep kept the game close during the first quarter but the Lions began to pull away in the second quarter. Iona Prep unable to match up man-to-man were forced to continue play zone which was made to order for Mike Williams (15 points), Khadeen Carrington (22 points) and Jayvian Delacruz (21 points) who scorched them.
Iona Prep was behind 25-14 and to compound matters, 5'11" senior Isiah Ice (10 points) struggled offensively. The Lions began doubling Jerome and while 6'0" junior Tom Capuano (22 points) nailed a three, Loughlin countered. With a minute left in the second period another trey by Capuano pulled the Gaels to within 12 points but the half ended with the Lions up, 32-20.
Other than a clever step back shake and bake by Jerome on Delacruz it was all about the Lions throughout most of the third quarter as the Brooklyn squad had too much firepower for Iona Prep. With 4:44, Loughlin led 38-28.
A steal by 6'0" senior Khalik Howe led to a statement making and-1 dunk by Carrington which upped the Lions lead to 43-30 with 3 minutes. As the Lions pressurized their defense, Iona Prep's passes were more about escape than about setting up plays and their problem grew to 22 point at the end of three quarters.
Loughlin was in cruise control throughout the fourth quarter and eased into the semifinal round.
After the statement win, Carrington said confidently, "No one can really play with us at this time and we're trying to prove that in the post season."
Asked about Loughlin's strategy versus St. Peter's, who they play in the next round, Carrington responded, "We watched them play earlier and we know that they've got a lot of shooters so we're gonna sit on their shooters. I don't think they can do anything with our length. All we have to do is play defense. Our scoring is gonna come. You saw that tonight."