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Molloy handed first league loss

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By Anthony Bosco

The Holy Cross boys varsity basketball team has never been a bad team — Coach Paul Gilvary will be the first to tell you that. But the Knights have hardly been a threat to win the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan during the coach’s first four years.

Until this year, that is.

The Knights handed the Archbishop Molloy Stanners their first league loss Friday night, 61-57, avenging a 69-50 defeat just two weeks ago. The win keeps the Knights tied with Christ the King for second place with just two losses and one behind the first-place Stanners.

“We really felt that if we played well we would have the opportunity to beat Molloy,” Gilvary said. “I think we’ve played pretty confidently over the season. I don’t think confidence was ever a question with these guys. Now it comes down to execution and the little things to win games.”

Cross (15-4, 5-2) won the game as it has won all its others this season, playing team ball. The Knights were 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the final period and never gave up the lead in the stanza.

Chris Fileti and Adam Frederic each hit four each from the foul line, while the Knights’ interior players, particularly Pierre Ward, kept Molloy Wendell Gibson under control late, not allowing the Hofstra signee to take over the game in crunch time.

“It was close all the way down to the end,” Gilvary said. “We made some big plays, we made some big shots and made the foul shots at the end. We shot the ball better and I thought we played much better defensively. To hold them to 57 points is a pretty good defensive effort.”

Molloy was coming off a 117-69 drubbing of Monsignor McClancy and seemed to be looking like the team to beat in Brooklyn/Queens, thanks to the play of Gibson, John Jermott and John Sikiric. But Cross was equal to the task Friday courtesy of balanced scoring. and defense.

Fileti led with 20, followed by Joe Marino with 18. But it was Ward whom Gilvary praised for tackling the 6-foot-7 Gibson in the paint on defense.

“Pierre Ward did a great job on Wendell Gibson,” the coach said. “Being that he gives away five inches and 80 pounds....he just made Wendell work for every point we got.”

Cross came into the game off a sound 69-67 overtime win over the Xaverian Clippers. For Gilvary, the reward is in the eyes of his players, many of whom have been on the varsity for three season, but only now are being considered among the league elite.

“The most rewarding part of it is that these seniors were on the varsity as sophomores,” the coach said. “We were so young and inexperienced. We took our lumps. Too see how much better they’ve gotten and how they’ve improved as players, that the most rewarding part. Its the result of a lot of hard work.

“They never let the bumps and bruises deter them from doing the work,” he added. “They’ve really developed into good basketball players. They’re very poised and confident, the way you want high school players to play.”

The Knights, who played Bishop Loughlin Tuesday, are home Friday against St. Francis Prep, a team they beat convincingly the first time around. But, as was made evident by Cross’ win this past week over Molloy, one win or loss does not dictate the outcome of a rematch.

“Every game is a battle,” Gilvary said. “There is no such thing as an automatic win. It never gets easy. That’s what makes this such a great league.”

St. Raymond’s 78, Archbishop Molloy 65. The Stanners followed up Friday’s loss with another Sunday at the hands of St. Raymond’s. Chris McRae led the ravens with 27 points and 14 rebounds, followed by Allan Ray with 11. Kevin Diffley led the Stanners with 15 points off the bench, but the Molloy offense sputtered late in the game.

The Stanners had an 11-game win streak snapped by Cross Friday.

“We’re not as efficient as we were two weeks ago,” said Molloy coach Jack Curran. “We’re just not shooting as well as we were. I think we’re playing just OK. They played better than we did. There as good as anybody. They’ll be well seasoned by the time the playoffs come.”

Molloy is now 14-5 overall and 7-1 in league play.

Xaverian 75, Monsignor McClancy 60. The Crusaders remained winless in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan with Sunday’s loss to Xaverian, despite 25 points from Tremayne Stevens. The Clippers were led by Chris Taft’s 21 points and Shamar Green’s 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Christ the King 60, Parkland Senior (Pa.) 51. The Royals got 15 points from Mitchell Beauford and 13 from Peedy Nelson in this non-league encounter Sunday at Lehigh University, Japhet McNeil contributed eight points and eight assists for Christ the King, now 11-8 overall, 6-2 in league play.

Cathedral Prep 75, Townsend Harris 66. The Crusaders were led by Chris O’Connor’s 15 points and 12 rebounds against non-league Queens foe Townsend Harris. Cathedral upped its overall mark to 15-3 with the win.

Christ the King 72, Bishop Loughlin 65. CK was led by Rob Barrett with 20, while McNeil and Nelson added 14 apiece.

St. Francis Prep 83, Monsignor McClancy 41. The Terriers doubled-up the Crusaders Friday courtesy of Rashad Bell’s double-double, pouring in 25 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Prep is now 9-11 overall and 2-6 in CHSAA league play.

Cathedral Prep 70, Sacred Heart 43. Cathedral’s Vinnie Lapuma led the scoring attack with 20, raising the Crusaders’ league mark to 7-2.

Archbishop Molloy 117, Monsignor McClancy 69. Gibson had 20, while Sikiric and John Jermott added 18 each for the winners.

Fordham Prep 38, St. John’s Prep 36. The struggling Red Storm lost by two last week, as the Rams got 17 from Jared Kildare.

Bishop Loughlin 68, St. Francis Prep 65. Curtis Sumpter led the Lions with 24, while Teddy Mumford added 19, including two free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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