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Holy Cross has just two seniors in the starting lineup, while Benjamin Cardozo has five players who have never competed together, making both teams a work in progress. In a battle of schools from Bayside, Holy Cross showed that they are further along in the assimilation process than Cardozo, beating the Judges 64-59"They answered the bell when it mattered most," Holy Cross coach Paul Gilvary said. "That's as good as a backcourt as you're going to see in the city in Sean Crawford and Mike Troll, and I thought we did a good job against them. I was happy with our defense today."The event was organized by The Hope Thru Hoops Foundation, which raised money for scholarships in Tom Crotty's name, the only former Division I basketball player to die in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.A number of classic match-ups were on display: two 6-foot-9 centers in Cardozo's junior Djibril Coulibaly and the Knights' senior Laurence Jolicoeur waged a spirited battle close to the basket. A former student at Holy Cross, Crawford was playing in his first regular season game against his former school and was responsible for guarding sophomore Trinity Fields, and Sylven Landesberg, a smooth playing sophomore for the Knights went up against forward Scottie McRae, who recently committed to St. Peter's College. While Holy Cross (10-9) played tough defense and led 29-20 at the half, Cardozo's effort was guided by Murphy's Law, which says that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Coulibaly was mired in foul trouble and missed most of the second half as Jolicoeur scored 12 points for the game; Crawford (12 points) was by far the fastest player on the floor but appeared to be pressing against his old school and lost the ball on a wild drive to the basket with his team trailing 58-56 with a minute left.Crawford, who always manages to make the dramatic play, good and bad, scored a dazzling four-point play when he nailed a three-pointer while getting fouled to cap an 18-8 run by Cardozo.But Landesberg in his first year on the varsity was almost poetic in scoring 20 points and walking away with the most outstanding player award in memory of Michael Seaman, a former student at Christ the King who perished in the World Trade Center disaster."I'm still trying to learn to play on this level, but I'm getting more comfortable," Landesberg said. "I was a little timid at first, but I've calmed down." The only bright spot for Cardozo (15-2) was the play of senior Mike Troll (16 points) and sophomore James Southerland, who benefited from Coulibaly's foul trouble and scored 14 points and caught the attention of eight Big East schools in attendance, according to Cardozo's coach Ron Naclerio, now 0-3 in games at the Crotty Classic.Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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