Terriers Push Hayes Off #1 Spot
FRESH MEADOWS, NY - A famous quote says, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” On Sunday, St. Francis Prep Terriers deployed that strategy to adapt, outhustle and take down the previously NYCHoops.net #1 ranked Cardinal Hayes, 61 – 56.
The Cardinals had been the #1 ranked team since preseason and for the last 10 weeks but the Terriers, who’ve quickly ascended to the #2 ranking, were strategically positioned to become the man by beating the top dog in the NYC ranking.
“There’s certain areas of the game, we can’t beat Hayes,” St. Francis Prep 5th year head Coach Jimmy Lynch admitted. “We can’t be 6’8” tomorrow. We can’t have three or four guys on the back line that big. So, what can we do? We can make the hustle plays. We can dive on the floor for the loose ball. We can block a shot outta nowhere, we can get a steal.”
The Terriers took the quote to heart and initiated its plan to perfection, 6’6” Jaden Daughtry ‘22 provided the offensive that countered fire power provided by 4-star recruit Ian Jackson, Giving as good as they got, Hayes found themselves only ahead by 3 points at the end of the first quarter. The Cardinals were already behind on 50/50 balls.
To trip up the hard charging Terriers, the Cardinals tried to take advantage of St. Francis Prep’s immaturity, “They used little zone, then a little man-to-man and then mid possession they changed and that’s confusing for high school kids,” Lynch said.
The confusion allowed the Cardinal to retain a small advantage throughout most of the second quarter but clutch shots from 6’1” Josh Pascarelli ‘23 and 6’1” Latiek Briscoe ‘22 along with momentum shifting three-pointers, checking Hayes big man Tobe Awaka, and rebounding by 6’5” Hao Chen ‘25. Their efforts gave the Terriers its first lead 30 – 24 as the third quarter got underway,
Hayes initiated a more balance scoring attack on the Terriers as 6’7” Tarique Foster ‘23 was lit from the perimeter. While the scoring tirade was formidable it only topped St. Francis Preps out by a point. With one quarter left to play, Hayes veneer of invincibility was beginning to wear and tear.
Porous defense by Hayes along with some key free throw misses widened a two-point deficit and the Cardinals handed the thrown over to the Terrier, losing by five.
The Terriers quite literally didn’t have a “Chance” to win as 6’2” Chance Morrish ‘22, one of the team’s pivotal starters was unable to play due to a fractured wrist during a game against Holly Cross. SFP prevailed none the less led by Pascarelli with 19 points with Daughtry and Briscoe adding 12 and 11 points, respectively. Foster paced Cardinal Hayes with 15 points
“I think we’re overlooked,” said Coach Lynch. Not anymore.