Game Summaries & Headlines.
Toyloy Brown III ‘18
BRONX – TGIF…Thank God, it’s Friday.
It’s a popular phrase used to express the excitement of people from all shapes and sizes who are looking forward to a restful weekend.
On December 22, Hayes students and faculty alike used that phrase to express their eagerness as the Christmas recess had finally arrived. For every Cardinal Hayes basketball fan, those expectations were met as the defending “AA” champions welcomed Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains).
With familiar Hayes fans in attendance including the Principal and President of Cardinal Hayes, members of the school’s Board of Trustees seated in the bleachers, and even former players Pedro Marquez, Jeffrey Hayden witnessed a very competitive matchup as the Cardinals (7-2) came out victorious against the Crusaders (2-2) by a score of 81-74.
The first quarter was a sign of how close this game would soon become because the period ended tied at 18-18.
Early on, the Crusaders’ tempo was impressive and one guard in particular did the bulk of the scoring. Hayes guard Joe Toussaint ‘19 kept the Cardinals offense alive with 7 of his total 14 points in the first quarter. The biggest deterrent for the Cardinals’ team were controversial calls made by the officiating crew. Many of the Hayes faithful were displeased with the missed fouls on contact lay-ups and two early fouls called on Hayes center Adam Cisse ’19 (who actually blocked a number of shots throughout the game).
During the second quarter, Hayes really got into a rhythm offensively. They scored 20 points compared to Stepinac’s 13. The offensive outburst was led by senior guard and new Quinnipiac commit Tyrese Williams. He scored the first four baskets for the Cardinals, which came in the form of 3 three-pointers and an inbound steal for a lay-up.
Williams concluded the first half with 18 points and the Cardinals were up 38-31.
As the second half started, the Crusaders performed eerily similar to their play in the first quarter. The jump shooting from their guards seemed to be unstoppable for anyone on the Hayes defense to handle. With a team shooting as well they were, the Cardinals couldn’t allow this to impede them from showing up on the offensive end.
Adam Cisse took it upon himself to contribute on the offensive end when he scored 6 of his 10 points in the third quarter. With seconds remaining, his final bucket came where he had close to four consecutive put back opportunities and finally converted on his final attempt. The Crusaders hurried down the court to get a last shot up and Cisse came into the picture to make a significant block to keep the score tied at 57-57.
With the score even going into the final quarter, it was anyone’s game.
Both teams had strong performances from their best players and the difference maker would have to be someone who had not been featured heavily yet.
The perfect candidate for such a role was senior guard Terrence Reaves. He was the spark plug the Cardinals needed off the bench and he delivered with all seven of his points coming in the final eight minutes of the game. Along with scoring, Reaves performed outstanding and ignited his teammates to also match the ferocity he was playing with.
The final score: Cardinals 81 and Crusaders 74.
Friday night, the Cardinals played well and it was obvious that they were not intimidated by the pressures that come in a close game. The leading scorers for the Cardinals were Tyrese Williams with 27 points and Jontai Williams with 15 points. After the game Coach Lods complimented his team for how well they played in a close competition against their Westchester County rivals.
“Our kids showed a lot of resolve and a lot of resiliency. We didn’t lose our composure. We got the momentum going in the right direction and our experienced juniors and seniors used it to their advantage.”
That composure seen with an experienced high school team is what can carry far into the playoffs. The Cardinals will have another test when they visit Archbishop Molloy in Queens next Friday for a highly anticipated match against some top-rank players Cole Anthony and Moses Brown.
TGIFA – Thank God it’s Friday Again.