In the last few years, the CHSAA title race has featured Rice and Christ the King; however, you can add a few more horses for this year's City title chase. One of those horses will be Holy Cross out of Flushing, Queens, featuring defending CHSAA Player of the Year, Sylven Landesberg.
However, after Friday night's 83-45 blowout at home against Cardinal Hayes, there will be a few more familiar names that may emerge in 2007-2008 from head coach Paul Gilvary's squad.
The tone was set early in the game as the Holy Cross Knights put on an offensive showing that led them to a 14-4 start mid-way through the first quarter. Tim Beinert, brother of former Chaminade HS and current Holy Cross University guard Andrew Beinert, knocked down a few early treys while Landesberg, bound for the University of Virginia, also got into the act by showing his improved athleticism around the hoop to score in the paint. While Holy Cross looked to be in mid-season form by taking care of the ball and taking good shots, while Cardinal Hayes couldn't get anything going on the offensive or defensive end. The Bronx CHSAA Class A school seemed to be physically overmatched, as a much stronger all around Knights team took it right to the mouths of coach Tom Murray's team. Holy Cross led 29-8 after the first quarter and retained the lead going into the half, up 44-24. The senior Landesberg led all scorers with 17 points in the half, with senior guard Kayvon Roberts chipping in 9 points and the senior forward Beinert adding 9 points (all in the first quarter) as well for Holy Cross. Big-bodied forward Leroy Mayers led Hayes with 9 points, while senior guard Jeff Paulino contributed 6 points for the Bronx school as well.
While the usual suspects played well for Holy Cross in the second half, the play of 6'6" lanky forward Ernest Freeman impressed with his ability to rebound and play out on the perimeter. Freeman featured with 12 points in the game thanks to his ability to finish around the rim and the unselfishness of his high school teammates to make the extra pass and get him the ball in good spots. While head coach Paul Gilvary recognizes the talent of Freeman, he feels that college coaches should begin to pay attention as well. "I don't think enough schools are looking at him. He's gotten a lot better and I know Iona and maybe a couple other schools have shown interest, but he hasn't been getting enough interest," said the Knights' head man.
Gilvary got the rest of his bench some minutes during the second half tonight, as Hayes was unable to close the gap against Holy Cross. The 6'5" Landesberg led all scorers with 28 points while Hayes was led by the 6'4" Mayers with 14 points.
Gilvary made a smart move by sending his starters to the bench early tonight to rest, because they face a major task on Saturday night when they take on Boys & Girls High School out of Brooklyn at Baruch College. Gilvary said after the game that they were originally supposed to play their PSAL-CHSAA Challenge game on Sunday, not Saturday, leaving them with a day to rest and prepare to face one of the top teams in the PSAL. However, the head coach of Holy Cross proclaimed that he would not set up a specific game plan to face the Brooklyn school with because it is a non-league game.
Stay tuned to NYCHoops.net, as we will have coverage from the PSAL-CHSAA Challenge on taking place on Saturday and Sunday from Baruch College.