The Holy Cross varsity boys basketball team finally got its first win of the league season Sunday, topping the Xaverian Clippers, 61-54. It was the Knights' first win in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan in six tries and a welcome one at that for head coach Paul Gilvary.
"In this league there's no gimme on the schedule," said the coach. "Every game is a tough game. Until you get that first win, you always fear the worst."
Cross was in jeopardy of opening the season 0-6 after the first half of play. Turnovers and poor shooting by the Knights gave the Clippers a 27-23 advantage after two.
But Gilvary's troops pulled it together over the third and fourth quarters to salvage the win.
"I thought we played a sloppy first half," Gilvary said. "We turned the ball over a little too much. We came out in the second half and tried to cut down on our turnovers so we could get good shots. We did a much better job taking care of the ball. We have some kids who can shoot the ball if we get it to them."
The Knights outscored Xaverian 21-15 in the third quarter and did most of their damage down the stretch from the foul line, as 12 of the Knights' 17 fourth-quarter points came from the charity stripe.
Chris Fileti led the way with 17 points, including eight from the line and a three-pointer in the fourth. Adam Frederic added 16 and Michael Howell scored 14.
The win improved the Knights record to 1-5 in the league and 7-7 overall.
Two days earlier the Knights lost a heartbreaker of a game to the Monsignor McClancy Crusaders, 68-65. Despite five players in double figures, Cross could not contain McClancy standouts Daryl Boykins and Kevin Bishop. Bishop finished the game with 26 points and hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to seal the win.
"They hurt us," Gilvary said of Bishop and Boykins. "It was a good game."
The Knights missed a last-second three-point try that would have tied the game.
Cross played a non-league match Tuesday against Monsignor Scanlon before leaving Wednesday for Beckley, WV. to play in the Mountain State Coal Classic. The annual tournament features national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy and a first-round match-up for the Knights against Charlotte Christian, a team coached by former Philadelphia 76er Bobby Jones.
The St. John's Prep Red Storm defeated Hartford Weaver, 55-49, Saturday night before a capacity crowd at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, most of whom turned out to see University of Connecticut signee Taliek Brown.
Brown did not disappoint the Huskie faithful in attendance, as the Lefrak City native led the way with 25 points, six assists and five steals.
It was the fourth time this year St. John's Prep has played a game in the Nutmeg State, something head coach Jimmy Gatto said is nothing but a coincidence.
"These games were scheduled before he even signed," the coach said. "They had a lot of coverage. New Haven TV was there. It was incredible."
As for the game, the Red Storm relied on more than just Brown. St. John's was up by just two at the break before hitting the boards hard in the second half and getting second and third opportunities on the offensive end, leading to several double-digit leads.
Harford Weaver managed to stay close, however, and give the Queens' team a run for its money down the stretch.
"They're a very good team, very athletic," Gatto said. "It was a struggle. We rebounded better in the second half."
Dwayne Thompson added 13 points and eight rebounds, while Omar Malcom scored 12 points with four assists. Dave Barrett had just one point in the game, but pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
"We're becoming more of a team than just one person," Gatto said.
Both Malcom and Thompson are receiving interest from Division II schools, as well as some junior colleges, Gatto said, thanks in part to the exposure the team has been getting since Brown signed with the defending national champion Huskies.
The Red Storm, now 13-4 overall, has also missed Ariel Garcia, a senior guard that was part of a three-guard rotation until he blew out his knee two weeks ago in a non-league game against Holy Trinity.
St. John's has lost only once to a New York team, Division II's St. Edmund. The team's next league game is Friday night against Xavier.
Christ the King 87, McClancy 52. St. John's signee Omar Cook scored 16 points and dished out 15 assists in leading the Royals past the Crusaders Sunday afternoon. Zack Williams led the team with 20 points and seven rebounds, as CK improved to 11-4 overall and 6-1 in league play.
St. Francis Prep 64, Archbishop Molloy 63. A three-pointer by Kevin Fitzgerald (23 points ) with 3.2 remaining in regulation forced overtime and Kevin White's free throw with 5.3 remaining in the extra session iced the win for the Terriers, now 12-4 overall and 2-2 in league play.
Bishop Loughlin 67, Christ the King 65. The Royals lost their first league game of the season Friday despite 27 points from Cook and 14 from Williams. The Lions got 19 points and 11 rebounds from Curtis Sumpter, 16 from Mike Boynton and nine points and six assists from Ted Mumford. Terrence Watkins added 15 for the winners, despite having to sit in the final minutes with a hip pointer.
Cathedral Prep 51, St. Agnes 48. Gary Lombardo led the way for the Crusaders with 23 points and Wojtek Branach added 13, as Cathedral Prep raised its record 12-3 overall, 6-2 in CHSAA C.
©2000 Community News Group
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