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St. Francis Prep takes bite out of Holy Cross

Laurence Jolicoeur’s turnaround foul line jumper capped a 22-5 run, and the William O’Meara Memorial Gym in the basement of Holy Cross High School exploded.

Bryan Geffen was 5:30 away from losing at rival Holy Cross for a second straight year, but the St. Francis Prep senior guard changed that with one shot, a three-pointer from the top of the key to put the Terriers in front for good en route to a 67-59 win Sunday afternoon.

The Boston University-bound guard scored a game-high 28 points, and fellow senior Andrew Cashin added 17 points for St. Francis Prep in its first league win of the year.

“Last year we might have been distracted a little by all that,” Geffen said of the atmosphere during the Knights’ run. “But this year we’re a senior-orientated team and we’re more under control.”

Geffen had 10 points early, giving his team a 14-5 lead, but Holy Cross (10-5, 2-3 CHSAA ‘AA’ East) responded with a 13-3 run to take its first lead of the game, 23-22, with 2:25 left in the second quarter.

But the St. Francis Prep seniors answered with Brian Fink’s scoring on a putback and Geffen’s closing out the first half with seven straight points to put the Terriers in front, 31-23, at the break.

“The seniors on their team really stepped up, made a couple of big shots (in foul trouble), stayed in the game,” said Holy Cross’ Kevin Ogletree, who scored a team-high 14 points. “They played smart and when they needed a bucket they got it.”

St. Francis Prep (10-3, 1-2 CHSAA ‘AA’ East) extended its lead to 42-25 on a three-point play by another senior, Tim Dougherty, before Holy Cross stormed back into the game with a furious rally.

“The best thing to have is seniors, and we’re in a position here where we just have three seniors on the team,” said Holy Cross coach Paul Gilvary. “We need to rely on juniors and sophomores, and in spurts today they did some nice things.”

A three-pointer by Joe Connor (12 points) gave Holy Cross its first lead of the second half with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter before Jolicoeur’s jumper gave the Knights their largest lead of the game at 55-51.

“We can’t play well for such a short amount of time in a game and expect to beat a good team,” Gilvary added. “If we had sustained that effort throughout the game I think it might have been a different outcome.”

But then Mike Marin buried a three-pointer, Fink hit a corner jumper and Geffen put the game away with his third three-pointer of the game, which was rescheduled after being postponed Friday following last Thursday’s inclement weather.

“We have four seniors on the floor and if we had given up a lead like that last year we might not have responded back, but we learned a lot and we played confidently today,” said St. Francis Prep coach Tim Leary. “We didn’t get crazy running up and down with them. We thought if we slowed them down a bit it would be to our advantage and it worked out.”

Archbishop Molloy 80, All Hallows 61. The Stanners cruised past perennial powerhouse All Hallows last week, led by Willis Kettrell and Sundiata Gaines, who scored 23 and 21 points, respectively. Molloy is now 10-5 overall and 4-1 in league play.

Monsignor McClancy 70, Mater Dei 59. Will Borgolte continued to play solid ball for the Crusaders, scoring a game-high 30 points in this non-league win. Teammate Stephen Wood added 17 as McClancy improved to 8-9 overall.

Olathe South (Kan.) 62, Christ the King 53. In the consolation game of the Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo., junior guard Chris Martin scored 16 and Joe Deluca chipped in 11, as the Royals fell to 7-8 overall on the season.

Christ the King 74, Katheline (Fl.) 33. The Royals were led by Akeem Gooding with 14 points and Brian Beckford with 12 in this non-league tournament win.

Rice 78, Holy Cross 70. The Knights gave a valiant effort in defeat against the league-perfect Raiders. Russell Robinson led the winners with 32 points and 10 boards, while Arturo Dubois chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

St. Raymond’s 77, St. Francis Prep 61. The Terriers played well but eventually lost to the defending city champions last week.

— Anthony Bosco contributed to this story

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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