BRIARWOOD, NY - On Sunday, the longest journey towards the CHSAA Intersectional Championship began with the first round out-bracket games at Archbishop Molloy HS. The Terriers of St. Francis Prep took on All Hallows followed by Mt. St. Michael's taking on the Xavarian Clippers.
St. Francis grounds n' pounds All Hallows, 81-38
Playoff hopes started and ended for All Hallows quickly as St. Francis Prep pounced on them early and often. Paced by 5'10" junior Shane Herrity and 6'2" junior Jordan Santiago, the Terriers jumped ahead by 19 in the first quarter and were ahead by an almost insurmountable 48-16 at the half.
The Gaels continued to get blown away in the third as their point production actually diminished to only five points. St. Francis Prep subbed out in the fourth quarter and All Hallows actually outscored the Terriers by two points in the quarter albeit en route to a 43 point dismantling.
Herrity led St. Francis with a game high 27 points with Santiago adding 12 points. 5'8" junior Videsh Persaud was the high man for All Hallows with 15 points.
"We're trying to make a deep run in the playoffs and get back to how we were playing in the beginning of the year, said Herrity. "Now we have a [playoff] game against Iona [Prep] which we beat in the beginning of the year but they're a good team. We just have to come out and play our game."
Xaverian turns Mountaineers inside out, 48-39
Xaverian jumped out front 6-zip behind baskets in transition by 6'5" junior Sayon Charles (22 points) and 6'4" senior Rob Rossiter (11 points). The Clippers would lead 14-7 to start the second quarter.
The Mountaineers tried to make headway but were still stuck at seven midway thru the quarter until 5'8" sophomore Kasey Walker (7 points) nailed a three ball to advance Mt. St. Michael's point total.
Another trey by 6'0" junior James Brady (8 points) and with 4:12 remaining in the half, the Mountaineers only trailed 16-13. Mt. St. Michaels would soon pull to with one and a couple of minutes later, 6'0" junior Karell Henry (5 points) drained a trey to give the Bronx team their first lead.
Brady extended the Mountaineers lead to 4 points with another three and they took a 23-19 advantage into the locker room at the midway point.
Charles was aggressive inside and knotted the game at 23, five minutes into the third quarter but the Mountaineers regained their lead as the Clippers became over assertive.
At the 3:52 mark, the Mountaineers were up 30-26 off a layup by 6'4" senior Kelvin Riley (9 points). Mount St. Michael's defiantly held on to a two point lead throughout most of the third quarter but with 30 seconds left, Rossiter hit a runner to tie the game at 32 going into the final quarter.
Charles gave Xaverian the early four point lead, drawing fouls and scoring in transition.
3:22 remained in regulation and Mt. St. Michael did not made a dent in their deficit. Charles scored two more and Xaverian was now up, 43-37.
A dunk by 6'3" junior Najee Larcher (10 points) punctuated the game for the Clippers as Xaverian would advance into the next round.
After the game, Xaverian Head coach Jack Alesi spoke highly of Charles. "The impressive part about him is he's a young kid and to play in a playoff game when things were going wrong; to will us to a win, that was a pretty impressive thing."
Charles said he sees Xaverian as the Dark horse and a team that, because they've played in the out-bracket round, are not formidable. "It's time to prove 'em wrong. We're the underdog. That's how we go at it every day."