Will thrills as Holy Cross coasts past rival Molloy

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Will Davis hasn’t really felt like himself. One of Holy Cross’ top scorers as a sophomore last year, Davis has been timid on the offensive end of the floor since coming back from a knee injury late last month.

It took the Knights’ heated feud with Archbishop Molloy to get that fire back in his eyes. Cross Coach Paul Gilvary has been drilling home how much the game means to the program and to the alumni. Davis couldn’t help but snap out of his funk.

“This time I was more aggressive,” the sinewy strong, 6-foot-2 guard said. “This rivalry is so big, as Coach Gil says, I knew I had to step up.”

Davis had 21 points to lead Holy Cross to a 77-67 win over Molloy in CHSAA Class AA boys’ basketball Friday night at Jack Curran Gymnasium. Perhaps more importantly, the junior locked up Stanners star Chris Dorgler, who could muster just two points until the fourth quarter.

“I thought the key to the game was really Will Davis,” Gilvary said. “I thought he was tremendous tonight. I thought he did a great job guarding Dorgler. To be able to guard the other team’s best player and score 20 in the same game, that’s really a tremendous performance. I’m glad to see Will have a game like that.”

Molloy (12-6, 3-4 BQ) came back from an early 19-9 deficit in the first quarter to take a 30-26 lead with 3:55 remaining in the first half on a Chris Garcia three-pointer. But Cross (12-7, 4-4) ended the second quarter with a flourish, scoring the last seven points with bench players, especially Terrell Williams, adding valuable minutes.

The Knights never trailed again and kept the Stanners at arm’s length in the second half. Every time Molloy cut into the lead, Holy Cross seemed to have an answer.

Dorgler drained a 28-foot, Jimmer Fredette-style three-pointer with the shot clock running down to cut the lead to 64-56, but Mairega Clarke responded with a nice move inside with 5:28 left in the game. Minutes later, Dorgler had an acrobatic putback to get Molloy within 69-63, but Marquise Moore and Evan Conti (21 points, 17 rebounds) had back-to-back scores to all but put the Stanners away.

“We’re an up and down team,” Conti said. “We’re a very athletic team. We have a lot of scorers. If they want go into a shooting contest, we’re confident we’ll beat anyone like that. They fell into the game we wanted to play.”

Marcus Hopper had 12 points for Cross, establishing himself down low in the second half. It was really a group effort in all and Conti gave Gilvary a lot of the credit for firing up the troops for this game. The Knights have had a lot of success at Molloy and the coach has instilled the importance of playing at Curran Gymnasium.

“To win at Molloy, I don’t even think the kids realize how special it is,” Gilvary said. “For so many years coming here and watching Coach Curran’s teams, anytime you have the opportunity to win here, it really means a lot. It means a lot to me and the program.”

Davis, who came in averaging just 5.3 points per game, was clearly sold. He scored on jumpers and fearless drives to the hoop and pressured Dorgler, keeping him off the offensive glass.

“Will Davis went back to the way he was last year,” Conti said. “Tonight he had his breakout scoring game like he would have been doing all season if he didn’t get hurt.”

Updated 10:33 am, October 12, 2011
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