The Catholic League Final 2016-17
Chaminade 85 – Holy Trinity 65
If any one of the 1500 high school basketball fans in attendance at Hofstra last night predicted a “blow out” win for Chaminade, you could have easily called them ” Crazy”.
In their first meeting, the Flyers withstood a fierce late game comeback by the Titans , winning by 3 as Trinity missed a shot at the buzzer.
In the rematch in Hicksville, the Titans won in double OT , led by a classic performance by Cam Wynter ( 30 points ).
And yet, there we were, all a bit stunned as Chaminade sprinted out to a first quarter 22-9 lead!
If you’re familiar with Trinity Coach Joe Conifry ….. when the going gets tough, Coach gets tougher! Trinity immediately extended their defensive pressure, getting two quick buckets.
Chaminade’s counter ?
Bring in the freshman to settle things down.
Haha, no … not kidding.
With an array of scoring finishes, including a scoop layup, pull up jump shot, floater, and a 3 …. and two pin point pass assists, the Flyer’s “rookie”, Michael O’Connell was again Chaminade’s not so secret weapon, who spent the first four minutes of the game on the bench.
Rumor had it that Duke University was there scouting. Not the players. The Legendary Chaminade student section “crazies”.
If you are unaware, some few years ago, the Flyers played their home games within the school itself on an old time small court.
Many three point shots were waved off there because toes behind the line meant heels out of bounds for larger players ( i.e. larger than 6’0 tall ?).
And Friday afternoon 4pm home games were a silly nightmare for opposing Catholic teams.
Disney-like epithets were spewed at rivals ….
” you shoot like Goofy !! “
Imagine 1200 boys after a week of academia, unchecked, just screaming at made baskets .
That home crowd advantage seemed to be lost when the Flyers moved into their new arena.
Too clean. Too spacious. No more Friday 4pms.
Until last night !!
You want teenaged fans ??
Give away free scarlet t-shirts.
They chanted : ” He’s a FRESHMAN !!” every time O’Connell scored.
Their loud Joy was temporarily silenced just before the half when HT senior , Thornton Scott (pictured above | #3), went on an 11-0 run …… by himself.
3 threes , one from 35 feet, one off glass, and a layup …. put the undeclared onlookers on the edge of their seats.
Chaminade led at halftime 41-32.
The final score 85-65 gives no insight to the keys of the game .
Chaminade’s defense was the reason for their success. Their zone clogged the lane and stifled Trinity’s ability to make plays off the drive. Cam Wynter had 14. Every time he bounced 3 times to his spot to elevate and shoot, defenders were THERE jumping with him. In fact, one time, Chaminade’s Brendan McGuire was So ready , he jumped first and blocked Wynter’s jump shot. Certainly not easily done!
Credit to the Chaminade coaching staff. They got their guys to “buy in” to their team defensive package and move the ball without hesitation on offense. It’s possible that Chaminade “outpassed” Trinity ” 5 to 1 “.
Bobby Connors led Chaminade with 20 points.
Brendan McGuire added 18.
Michael O’Connell had 17.
Congrats Flyers …. Catholic League Champions!!
Reported by Tom Rottkamp, NassauBasketball.com