For the second time in four years, Iona Prep is headed to the State Federation tournament after winning the CHSAA Class A State title on Saturday with a 64-51 win over St. John the Baptist at Fordham. The Gaels improved to 25-3 on the year.
"I think these guys had to play together and it wasn't just one guy, we had different people step up to lead the team," coach Vic Quirolo said. "The team stuck together and played together and we knew if we did that, good things would happen."
Iona took on a dangerous St. John the Baptist team that had emerged from its league tournament, despite being the last seed, and made it all the way to the State title game. The Gaels got an early lead on St. John the Baptist and were able to boost it up to 20 points in the fourth quarter and win the title. Tim McCarty led Iona with 17 points.
"This is a great group, they are just very steady," Quirolo said. "They work hard and they really get along and play together, it's been a real good thing."
Iona has been able to make its run without one dominating player. It's been a different player every game, whether it's Isiah Ice in the earlier rounds of the City tournament, Brandon Williams in the City title game, or McCarthy against St. John the Baptist.
Quirolo said he thought his team had a shot to win the City title but hadn't really thought about the State. He had all his focus on guiding his team his team to the City crown before he could concentrate on the State tournament. The last time Iona made the State Federation tournament, it lost to Jamesville-Dewitt in the first round.
"We're excited to be there," Quirolo said. 'We'll give it our best shot."