After graduating all five starters from last year's Brooklyn/Queens Championship team, Holy Cross has become a team full of questions.
They started the season with a couple of wins before stumbling on Tuesday. On Friday it was about getting back on track, and that's what the Knights did in impressive fashion routing St. Anthony's 70-42.
The loss to Stepinac in the Knights first league game on Tuesday gave Holy Cross coach Tom Marchesini some points of improvement that he wanted to see from his team.
"More energy, we lacked energy on Tuesday. We need to attack and we need to give 100% at all times." Marchesini said.
Energy was evident quickly on Friday as they came out and blitzed the Friars from Huntington Station, NY in the first quarter jumping out to a 9-0 lead behind a couple Jermaine Bishop three's. The Knights defense also harrassed St. Anthony's early on as the 2-2-1 full court press caused havoc with the Friars only scoring 5 points in the opening stanza, falling behind 18-5 after 1.
Terrell Williams showed a quick bounce to the rim as he had 6 points in the 2nd as Holy Cross opened the lead to 22 midway through the 2nd. The Friars did a good job trying to climb back in it as Jahwon Gordon showed a quick burst to the rim in scoring all 7 of his points in the 2nd quarter, but it was the Knights still comfortably up at the break 38-22.
It was more of the same in the 3rd as the pressure defense caused many St. Anthony's turnovers which in turn led to easy fast break points on the other end for Holy Cross. Akil Spruill had a nice 3rd for the Knights getting open and connecting on a couple nice mid range jumpers. Nigel Carter scored 10 in 3rd for the Friars, but the lead for the Knights expanded to 20 after 3.
The Knights kept the pedal on the metal in the 4th and put on impressive display on both ends of the floor. The reserves for both teams came in with about 2 minutes left as Holy Cross coasted home to the win.
Bishop led the Knights with 21 points in the win, with Williams and Spruill adding 19 and 16 respectively. Carter was the lone double digit scorer for St. Anthony's with 21.
The win was an important step for the imexperienced Knights, and in listening to Williams, one of the rare seniors on the team, after the game, a lesson was learned from Tuesday's loss.
"We always have to play hard. We have to come out strong and get after every team like we did today."
Wins like this are good, but Marchesini knows things will only continue to get harder for his squad as they play bigger and stronger teams, but he has confidence and knows this team has potential.
"Success and winning makes everyone feel good. Tonight was a good step for us, and hopefully we can build on it and continue to get better."
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