BRIARWOOD, NY - After losing two games on the road and another locally in a league game to an unranked team, NYCHoops.net #2 ranked Archbishop Molloy could have done one of two things on Friday versus the CHSAA defending City champs, Cardinal Hayes. Either wither on the vine or rise up. The Stanners chose the latter option especially since the Cardinals beat Molloy to win the chip last season.
“I think we had a pretty bad week in Florida and then we came out at All Hallows and we thought that was going to be an easy game,” said the Stanners 7’2” center Moses Brown ‘18. His point guard Cole Anthony ‘19 summed it up even more succinctly. “[All Hallows] came to play, and we didn’t.”
After suffering two losses in a row punctuated by a 7-point loss to the Gaels, Molloy was even more determined to get the ‘W’ against the Cardinals. The result was an emphatic 91 – 70 victory over their Bronx nemesis with Anthony unloading a game high 31 points plus 4 assists and Brown adding 22 points, 15 rebounds and 8 blocks.
Brown said that clapping back with a significant win against Hayes was especially gratifying. “They beat us in the city championship. They stole it from us, so we had to come out there and beat ‘em up.”
Anthony and Moore put it on Cardinal Hayes early. Tyrese Williams ‘18 and Joe Toussaint ‘19 offered some offense for Hayes but Khalid Moore ‘18 and Orin Barfield ‘18 countered, putting Molloy up by 12 points to start the second quarter.
The Cardinals played bully ball in the paint early in the second quarter and guards T.J. Reaves ‘18, Williams and Jalen Murray ‘20 were the beneficiaries as they sliced their deficit to 6 points off a 6 – 0 run. Jade Tse ‘18 drained a trey that ended Hayes's brief run, setting off a Molloy rally.
While Moore didn’t contribute much on offense, his few buckets were timely and he more than compensated on the defensive end with 12 rebounds and a block. Brown and Moore came up big and at the half, the Stanners extended its lead to 48 – 31.
“As the second and third quarter started, you could tell that they started to play more individually,” said Anthony. “So, at that point I said Oh Yeah, we got them. Let’s keep this pressure up.”
Williams went into hyper-drive offensively and did his best to orchestrate a Hayes come-back, but Anthony rose the occasion and kept the Cardinals at bay. With a minute left in the third quarter, Molloy had it largest lead at 31 points.
Down by 27-points as the fourth quarter commenced, Molloy kept up the intensity and the best Cardinal Hayes could do is exchange baskets. Three minutes remained in regulation and the Cardinals were still down by 20 but neither team subbed out or relented until the final buzzer sounded.
“Molloy played with a real sense of urgency coming off that All Hallows loss and we didn’t,” said Hayes head Coach Joe Lods. “[Because of the City championship loss] I think that Molloy played with a chip on their shoulder that we didn’t have tonight.” Lods added jokingly that he wished that the game against All Hallows came after his game. “That game had trap game written all over it.”
Williams was the high scorer for Cardinal Hayes with 29 points with Toussaint contributing 14 points albeit in a losing effort.