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The Butler Did It: Prep-Cross made for TV

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Wait, what?That's right, if you can't get a coveted ticket to sit inside the cramped William J. O'Meara gym Friday night, the second best seat in the house can be found in the cafeteria one flight up where the Battle of the Boulevard will be broadcast on large-screen televisions, thanks to the Holy Cross Television Production Club. The students received some pointers from the MSG crew out at the Tom Crotty Classic at Hofstra Sunday and were scheduled to do a dry run for the Knights' game against St. Raymond's Tuesday night.As for getting a ticket to one of the most anticipated league games between the two schools in recent years, good luck. According to Holy Cross coach Paul Gilvary, tickets are only being sold in advance - either at the school's business office during school hours or the athletic department after school. Why are Holy Cross officials so sure this game will sell out? The first meeting was a classic at St. Francis Prep, with the Terriers coming away with a 70-65 victory in front of an estimated overflow crowd of 1,800. And officials had to close the doors at the end of the first quarter. The buzz for this game is even greater than the first meeting, with fans who missed the first one as well as those who were at St. Francis Prep looking forward to the rematch. But the gym at Holy Cross is about a third the size of St. Francis Prep's. It would be like playing a Duke-North Carolina game at MS 158. Keeping with the Duke theme, maybe fans will camp out on Francis Lewis Blvd., forming a Gilvaryville, like the Cameron Crazies do in Durham. Surely a few entrepreneurs will be offering tickets at slightly increased prices. With demand far outweighing supply for this one, was there any thought of perhaps moving the game to a larger facility?"I'm sure St. Francis Prep would have made their gym available," Gilvary said. "But I think we'll keep it right here."While the crowds are bigger than they've been in recent years, the entire CHSAA has seen an increase in attendance, thanks to a combination of a wide-open league and the usual cast of future college stars. A few weeks ago, Jack Curran Gymnasium at Archbishop Molloy had what officials there called one of the biggest crowd in 20 years to watch the Stanners face St. Francis Prep. And Holy Cross was standing room only for a league-opening win over Christ the King earlier this month."I told my players I'm happy for them," Gilvary said, "because it's come back around now where it's the popular thing to go to high school games."Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

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