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Coin flip, loss costs Cross higher seed in B/Q tourney

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The flip of a coin.

Holy Cross High School basketball coach Paul Gilvary probably could have cared less which team, Christ the King or Bishop Loughlin, won their match-up Friday night to decide first place in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan. Gilvary had his own game to worry about.

The Knights lost to the Xaverian Clippers, 47-38, a team fresh off the biggest upset of the year, a surprise win over the Archbishop Molloy Stanners last Tuesday. It was a loss that dropped Cross into a tie for last place with the McClancy Crusaders.

A coin flip determined which team would be seeded sixth or seventh for the upcoming Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Tournament, a coin flip won by McClancy, pushing the Knights into the cellar.

"I'm very disappointed," Gilvary admitted. "The season has not been that much of a disappointment until Friday. We scored 82 points Tuesday [against McClancy] and came back on Friday and score 38.

"I give Xaverian a lot of credit," he added. "They beat Molloy Tuesday and beat us Friday."

In what Gilvary referred to as an "ugly game," both teams struggled from the field. In the end, Xaverian's Shaun Applebaum led the way with 14 points, while Ozzie Oyagha was the high man for the Knights, also with 14.

The loss was even more meaningful when one looks at the final Brooklyn/Queens standings. If Cross, 2-10 in league play, beats Xaverian, which finished with a 3-9 league record, the Knights assume the fifth-place position and would face Queens rivals Archbishop Molloy in the first round of the tournament. Molloy has been seriously weakened by the loss of big man Wendell Gibson, who injured his hand and arm after losing a one-pointer to Christ the King two weeks ago.

The loss and subsequent coin flip drops the Knights to seventh, putting them up against Christ the King in the first round. Christ the King has lost just two league games all year, both to first-place Bishop Loughlin.

"If we win, we get fifth seed," Gilvary said. "If you look at the whole league, that's what we can hope for. Now [Xaverian] gets all the benefits that come with that spot.

"[Christ the King is] a very tough match-up for us," the coach added. "We played a lot better against Loughlin than we did against CK. It's the size that kills us. We're going to give it a shot. We don't have to beat them nine out of 10 times. We only have to beat them once."

The Brooklyn/Queens Tournament begins Sunday, with the Christ the King-Holy Cross match-up kicking off three games at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, starting at 1 p.m.

The first game will be followed by the St. Francis Prep-Monsignor McClancy match-up at 3 p.m. and Molloy-Xaverian at 5 p.m. Regular season champs Loughlin gets a bye in the first round.

The semifinals will be played on Tuesday, Feb. 29, with the Christ the King-Holy Cross winner facing the winner of St. Francis Prep-McClancy. Loughlin would face the Molloy-Xaverian winner in the other semifinal.

The championship game will be held on Friday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m., also at St. Francis College, and will possibly be preceded by the freshman and junior varsity championships.

The results of the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Tournament determines the seedings for the teams for the upcoming intersectional playoffs. The citywide playoffs, which are slated to begin March 5 at Manhattan College, would pit the No. 3 team from B/Q against the No. 7 from B/Q. The No. 5 B/Q team would face No. 4 from the Archdiocese, while the No. 4 B/Q team would face the No. 5 from the Archdiocese. The final match-up has the No. 3 team from Bronx/Manhattan taking on the B/Q No. 6 seed.

The top two teams from each division receives a bye in the first round.

The intersectionals continue at Manhattan on Sunday, March 12 with the quarterfinals, followed by the semifinals on Wednesday March 15 at St. John's. The finals will be held at Fordham University on Sunday, March 19, preceded by the annual Senior Classic.

In the CHSAA Class B, the only Queens representative, also happens to be the top seed. St. John's Prep, which finished on top of the Class B division, will play with winner of Stepinac-St. Joseph by the Sea in the quarterfinals on Saturday, March 4 at Bishop Ford High School in Brooklyn.

The Class B semis will be held Tuesday, March 7, with the championship game being held Friday, March 10.

Cathedral Prep is also the lone Queens representative in the CHSAA Class C playoffs. The Crusaders will square off against Moore Catholic of Staten Island Sunday at Sacred Heart High School in Yonkers. Cathedral finished third in their division after the regular season.

The Class C semifinals will be played March 4 at Mount St. Michael, with the championship preceding the Class B final on Friday March 10.

Bishop Loughlin 52, Christ the King 40. The Lions scored the game's first 11 points and led 33-19 at halftime en route to locking up the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan regular season championship. Mike Boynton led the way for Loughlin with 14, but it was the Lions' ball denial of CK point guard Omar Cook that set the tone for the game.

St. Francis Prep 71, McClancy 58. Prep's Kevin Fitzgerald led the way with 19 while junior Rashad Bell scored 18 as the Terriers solidified their hold on third in the division with a win Friday. Khari Council led the Crusaders with 14.

Holy Cross 82, McClancy 65. Pierre Ward scored 16 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked 10 shots to record the triple double for the Knights. Chris Fileti and Joe Marino scored 19 and 16, respectively for Cross.

Xaverian 45, Molloy 41. James Hauser scored 11 for the Stanners, which fell to 6-6 in league play with the loss last Tuesday.

St. John's Prep 62, Nazareth 50. Taliek Brown scored a game-high 27 points while dishing out seven assists for the Red Storm. Dwayne Thompson contributed 14 points in the win.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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