BRONX, NY - Sunday's CHSAA Quarterfinal Intersectionals on the Campus of Fordham University was heaven for four of the five NYCHoops.net Top Ten teams as they advanced to the semifinal round on do-or-die playoff tournament.
Here are recaps of the game as well as the evening's top performers.
Stepinac stuns St. Raymond, 68-51
In the opening game, St. Raymond jumped out in front early as Jaquan McKennon scored and Luis Santos dominated inside. It would be the tale of two halves as Archbishop Stepinac ruled the latter part of the game.
Josh James would score his 1000th point en route to stellar ending that had the Crusaders up by as much as 17 points.
Reigning down 8 three-pointers as a team, Stepinac advanced to the semis winning by 17 points
"We came with intensity from the jump and finished out the game strong," said James. "I wasn't planning to lose in my senior year."
James led Stepinac with 22 points including three 3-balls in the first half while 5'10" junior Naim Thomas contributed 18 points. 6'3" junior Shawn Jones paced the Ravens with 13 points with McKennon adding 9 points.
Loughlin preps for semis beating Gaels, 72-59
After trailing by 5 points to start the second quarter, Matt Ryan got hot from the perimeter and with 6:18, point guard 6'0" junior PG Isaiah Ice would nail a 3-ball, giving Iona Prep a 17-16 lead.
Loughlin would tie the game when Mike Williams scored from the arc but 6'2" senior Brandon Williams countered and the Gaels remained on top with 4 minutes left in the half. The Lions took the lead 29-28 with 1:30 left the half as Williams fed Javian Delacruz while 6'0" senior PG Jordan Nanton and Khadeen Carrington scored in transition. The Gaels were stung by a 9-0 Lions run leaving them in a 37-29 deficit at the half.
Loughlin opens the second half with a zone as they sat on their 8 point lead but Ryan busts it up with a trey and a strong drive to the rim. Iona Prep got led down to 5 but Williams facilitated the Lions both offensive and with assists, extending their lead to 43-33 with 3:33 left in the third quarter.
Loughlin full court pressed and Gaels turnovers pushed the Lions lead to 19 points late in the quarter. 6'0" sophomore Tom Capuano broke free to put some points on the board for Iona Prep but transition points by Loughlin resulted in an almost insurmountable 55-35 lead to begin the fourth quarter.
The Gaels would never recover as the Lions sailed into the semis.
Mike Williams and Carrington led the Lions with 23 points and 21 points respectively. Ryan scored a game high 24 points with Brandon Williams adding 10 points
Cardinal Hayes edges out Molloy, 67-66
Hayes establishes a low post presence as 6'7" senior forward Ramel Coleman got to the rim and to the line early. Molloy turnovers allowed Shavar Newkirk to score off fast breaks and Hayes led by 6 points at the end of the warm-up quarter.
6'5" senior forward Marko Kozul got Molloy off to a good start in the second quarter as the Stanners tried to creep back into the game. With 6:02 Chaz Watler got to the foul line and cut the Cardinals lead to 18-15. Mustafa Jones midrange game and points in transition increased and sustained a Cardinal's 7 points with 3 minutes. Molloy kept pace as Watler pressed the action offensively while the Stanners benefited from a poor shooting first half from Chris Robinson.
With 30 seconds left a putback by Kozul cut Hayes's lead to 28-26 at the half.
C.J. Davis and Watler tied the game at 28 and 30, thirty seconds into the quarter but each time Hayes had an answer. A jumper by Jones with 6 minutes left in the third would put the Cardinals in front 36-32.
Robinson found his touch midway through the quarter as the Cardinals tried to pull away but Davis went on a tear and Watler tied the game at 43 with a nice drive to the hole. 6'4" senior forward Justin Brown did a nice job on the boards for Molloy and with a 1 minute left in the third a Davis trey finally gave Molloy. Hayes countered but with 3.6,
Davis tied the game going one for two at the line and then got the offensive rebound to score plus the and-1 which put Molloy ahead. Newkirk make the Stanners pre-halftime celebration brief as hit a momentum-killing Hail Mary to tie the game at 52 going into the fourth quarter.
Five minutes remained in the game as Davis scored for the top of the key and Jason Cethoute scored in the paint and Molloy was ahead 62-58 with 3:54 left in regulation.
Jones put up a hook shot to cut Molloy's lead to one and with 1:43 scored a putback, giving Hayes a 65-64 lead. Molloy had a chance to score but Kozul would miss a contested shot at the basket. Newkirk drew a foul and extended Hayes lead to three a minute. Watler scored a nice underhand scoop shot that shaved Hayes's lead down to 67-66.
Hayes ran the shot clock down to 18 seconds, missed the shot but managed to grab the offensive rebound with 16.7. Watler, sacrificed himself, committing his fifth foul battling for the rebound
There was still hope for the Stanners as Hayes turned the ball over on the inbound with 15 seconds. Molloy searched for the last shot but was forced to call time with 4.8 seconds remaining and due to Hayes's defensive pressure, the Stanners would come up short.
"I'm a player," said Newkirk. "I do whatever the coach wants me to do. Today, he told me to be aggressive and attack and that's what I did."
Newkirk led the Cardinals with 28 points with Jones contributing 16. Davis was high man for Molloy with 25 points. Watler added 15.
Christ the King routs St. Peter's, 82-66
The Eagles came out shooting as 5'10" junior Glen Sanabria scored and the game as was knotted midway through the opening quarter. As Jon Severe began to attack the basket late in the quarter, Christ the King pulled out in front of St. Peter's by 5 points to start the second quarter.
Two minutes into the second quarter, Isaiah Cosbert drained a trey giving the Royals a 23-15 advantage. Latrell Curtis provided some pushback for St. Peter's but freshman Rawle Alkins and Travis Alton would extend the Royals lead to 10 with 4:54 left in the half. A Severe three-ball would send CTK off to the races with a 15 point lead
The was in danger of spiraling out of control for the Eagles but a heave at the buzzer by 5'11" senior Khalil Shorter made the halftime score a slightly more manageable, 37-26.
The Royals came out in the third quarter and quickly pushed their lead to 20 points as Jordan Fuchs powered his way up to the rim. Cosbert began to rein threes on the Eagles and Christ the King took a 24 point lead into the fourth quarter.
To the Eagles' credit they did get their deficit down to 16 points with 5:05 remaining but they were simply not equipped to stage a comeback of that magnitude. With 2:33 remaining in the game, the Royals booted their lead back to 25 and Coach Joe Arbitello subbed out all his starters.
Severe led the Royals with 14 points with Andre Walker and Alkins adding 13 points each. Sanabria scored a game high 23 points for St. Peter's.