basketball Edit

Titans’ huge 4th leads to victory

HICKSVILLE, NY -Thursday’s matchup featured #4 Hills East on the road at Holy Trinity who is one of the top programs in the Catholic League. Each team fought extremely hard, had multiple college prospects on the floor and had big time performances from their Seniors. While the game went back and forth a huge 18-4 run by Holy Trinity helped the Titans separate enough to hold onto the victory over the Thunderbirds. Here’s the recap.

The first possession of the game Hills East got several offensive rebounds and CG Derek Varlack ‘22 got the scoring started. Holy Trinity responded with 6’5” F Izaiah Shaw-Glen ‘22 who hit three straight jumpers including two threes. The Titans leading 10-7 at the 3-minute mark finished the quarter strong on an 8-2 run giving them a 9-point lead after 1.

Hills East needed a spark and got it from Varlack getting to the line converting both and then finishing off a big and1. The Titans lead 22-16 when Varlack knocked down a pull and found a cutter for a layup causing a Holy Trinity timeout now only up 2. Holy Trinity got a bucket, but Hills responded with an and1 plus a pair of Varlack free throws to take the lead. They each traded buckets when Shaw-Glen finished inside to give the Titans the 29-27 lead and then stuffed one of the Thunderbirds at the rim to finish the half.

While Holy Trinity held the lead you could feel the Thunderbirds start to change momentum. Varlack got to the rim for two and then PG Xavier Lewis ‘22 knocked down a big 3. Shaw-Glen hit another three for the Titans, but Varlack was fouled and converted a put back and1 giving Hills East a 38-32 lead. The Titans got a quick deuce from guard Manu Alford ‘22 but Lewis hit back-to-back threes giving the Thunderbirds a 10-point lead. Holy Trinity came roaring back on a 12-5 run with multiple baskets by Alford when Varlack hit a huge three at the buzzer.

The score now 52-46 Thunderbirds Alford found a teammate for a three and Shaw-Glen made a pair of free throws to cut it to 1. Each team traded baskets, Alford then got fouled made both free throws and then the Titans created a bunch of turnovers leading to 5 straight layups. Alford ahead of the pack finished a layup and Hills missed both free throws got the rebound somehow got a tough bucket to fall and called time out. Titans were up 66-58 after the chaos with 2:41 to go, Hills got a turnover plus a hoop now only down 6 got the ball again and got fouled. The Thunderbirds missed the front end got rebound but then turned it over. During the next few possessions neither team could make a free throw until Alford stepped up and made both to seal it.

Holy Trinity won 70-65 with Alford having 16 of his 19 points in the second half and an impressive performance from Shaw-Glen who also had 19. Varlack lead all scorers in the game with 21 points and Lewis who hit four threes added 14.

This was a terrific game featuring several talented prospects. Hills East will look to build off their tough non-league schedule for league play and Holy Trinity is a threat in the Catholic league who’s trending towards our top 10 team rankings.