New York High School: St. Francis Prep

Coaches saddened by Nazareth closing

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
10:46
AM ET
Christ the King girls basketball coach Bob Mackey knows the pain for the faculty, students, coaches and athletes at Nazareth, who found out on Wednesday that the Brooklyn school will be closing its doors at the end of the year.

"Having been at (St. Nicholas of) Tolentine when it closed, it's a very unpleasant experience for teachers, students and it effects everybody including the alumni and it's unfortunate," Mackey said. "It's not something I ever want to go through again and it's not something I want to see anyone go through."

Opposing girls basketball coaches in the CHSAA were saddened to see Nazareth become the fourth all-girls school in New York City close over the past three years. The school is closing its doors at the end of the year amid financial problems and declined enrollment.

Nazareth, ranked No. 1 in New York City by ESPNNewYork.com, has developed into a girls basketball power in New York City over the past two years, as it is the reigning New York State Federation Class AA and CHSAA Class AA State champions.

"It's unfortunate that it happened," St. Francis Prep coach JoAnn Wagner said. "I know that their enrollment has gone down for a long time and they have been fortunate with the success of their girls basketball team, but I don't just judge them on that. I judge on the school as well and it affects everyone."

It's been a rough couple of year for Catholic schools in New York City as there have been a handful of closings recently, especially all-girls schools that have developed reputations for their basketball teams.

Two years ago, St. Michael Academy in Manhattan, a power school, closed, as well as Stella Maris. At the end of the 2010-11 school year, Staten Island power St. Peter's closed down and Nazareth is now the latest to fall victim.

Many of Nazareth's current players came to Nazareth after St. Michael Academy closed its doors, following head coach Apache Paschall, who died on Jan. 3. That means some of these players will be undergoing their second transfer of schools in three years.

All coaches talked to mentioned how the closing was an unfortunate situation but it reflected a sign of the times, as evident by the other schools closing around them. Some Catholic schools are struggling to make ends meet revenue wise and have had to close their doors, forcing their students to find new high schools.

"I feel bad for the Nazareth kids, where are they all going to go now?" Moore Catholic coach Rich Postiglione said. "These are children, no matter how you look at it, these are good kids and it's really not good that their lives are unstable. I don't think anyone wants that. I'm sure they have smart people at Nazareth and they would have done something if they could have done, but they can't."

On the court, losing Nazareth will affect the league and it's scheduling, as well as the rivalries that have been developed. Nazareth has developed quite a rivalry with Christ the King and has become the team to beat in the CHSAA.

With St. Peter's closing after last school year, Moore Catholic has had to take on a harder non-conference schedule this year to make up for the games it lost against is Staten Island rivals. The league also shifted around its leagues division to make up for St. Peter's loss.

Still, as much as games will be lost on the court, Postiglione knows that the affect of Nazareth doesn't just apply to basketball.

"The way I look at it, the closing goes much deeper than just basketball," Postiglione said. "That's a small minority but it's affecting all the kids. That's very sad."

Bishop Ford wins CHSFL Class "A" title

November, 12, 2011
11/12/11
10:51
PM ET
Now that's a classic title game.

No. 2 Bishop Ford scored a touchdown with six seconds left to win the CHSFL Class "A" title as it defeated No. 1 St. Francis Prep 22-18 on Saturday night at Mitchel Field in Uniondale. The Falcons (5-5) overcame a 12-0 deficit in their win over the Terriers (5-5).

"Our kids don't quit and they just kept on playing," Bishop Ford coach Jim Esposito said. "If you keep on playing, good things can happen and that's what they did. They were fortunate to make a couple of plays at the end of the game to win the game."

Trailing 18-14 with about 10 seconds remaining, Bishop Ford faced a fourth-and-10 at the 11-yard line. Quarterback Xaviah Mattocks hit tight end Rodney Gonzales in the back of the endzone for the touchdown. The Falcons converted the two-point conversion to make the final score and win their first Class "A" title since 2004. It was their first Class "A" title game appearance since falling to Cardinal Hayes in 2005.

"It was like a dream come true for the kids, they really worked hard," Esposito said.

Bishop Ford fell behind 12-0 early in the third quarter before mounting a comeback. Two touchdown runs by running back Devon Mitchell gave the Falcons a 14-12 lead with about eight minutes to go. St. Francis Prep retook the lead and was forced to punt the ball with about 40 seconds left.

While the Falcons initially returned the punt for a touchdown, a holding call nullified the score and they instead took over at St. Francis Prep's 45-yard line. After a 34-yard pass, the Falcons had their opportunity to take the lead. After killing clock on the first play, the Falcons had three plays to try to win the game and finally did on the last play.

Bishop Ford avenged a 21-12 loss over St. Francis Prep in the final week of the regular season.

"It's an honor to play against St. Francis Prep and Coach (Vince) O'Connor, who is one of my idols. I've known him for a long time and he's always been great and he's a gentleman and his kids are just the nicest kids in the world," Esposito said. "It's an honor to be on the field against him and his guys. It was just a great game and their kids played really hard and we just had the ball last and were fortunate to score at the end and get a win."

CHSFL A playoffs breakdown

November, 3, 2011
11/03/11
1:49
PM ET
With the CHSFL playoffs beginning this weekend, we polled our staff of high school writers to get their takes on which teams they see emerging victorious. Matt Ehalt, Amara Grautski, Chris Hunt and Rob Abruzzese give their takes on how the CHSFL "A" playoffs will breakdown.

A BRACKET
No. 1 St. Francis Prep vs. No. 4 Cardinal Spellman
No. 2 Bishop Ford vs. No. 3 Christ the King

WHAT’S THE TITLE GAME?

Ehalt: No. 1 St. Francis Prep over No. 2 Bishop Ford: St. Francis Prep beat all three teams in this bracket and there shouldn’t be any reason why that changes in the tournament.

Abruzzese: No. 1 St. Francis Prep over No. 2 Bishop Ford: St. Francis Prep will be a team on a quest after they got snubbed by the AA playoff bracket.

Grautski: No. 1 St. Francis Prep defeats No. 2 Bishop Ford: Francis Prep defeated Bishop Ford, 21-12, during the regular season and has a superior quarterback in Thomas Cani.

Hunt: No.1 St. Francis Prep over No. 2 Bishop Ford: SFP handed Bishop Ford, it’s only rival in A, a 21-12 loss at the end of the regular season. What’s stopping them from doing it again?

TOURNAMENT PICKS:

Ehalt: SFP over Spellman; Ford over CK

Abruzzese: SFP over Spellman; Ford over CK

Grautski: SFP over Spellman; Ford over CK

Hunt: SFP over Spellman; Ford over CK
NEW YORK—As Archbishop Molloy freshman Taylor Moss prepared to lead off the eighth inning of Friday’s game against St. Francis Prep, she found herself swarmed with encouragement.

Her older sister Dana Moss, who would be on second base to start the inning as part of the International Tie Breaker Rule, told her younger sibling she had confidence she would come through. Her coach, Maureen Rosenbaum, told her freshman slugger she would rather have Moss hit than bunt, putting her faith in the youngster.

“It got me fired up and comfortable,” Moss said.

Feeling inspired at the plate, Moss drove the first pitch to left field for a double that plated the go-ahead run and helped lead Molloy to a 4-3 win in eight innings against St. Francis Prep Friday at Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows. Moss finished 2-for-4 with two RBI on the day.

With the win, Molloy claimed the Brooklyn/Queens "A" Division title for the third straight time.

“It felt great,” Moss said of her double. “It feels really good to contribute.”

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Molloy (14-1, 10-0 division) took advantage of small openings to score runs on plays that could’ve easily resulted in outs and let St. Francis Prep (8-2) leave the field with no damage done.

With runners on second and third in the top of the third in a scoreless game, Taylor Moss hit a soft line drive to short, but the runner from second shielded Terriers shortstop Danielle Cervasio, forcing her to scoop the ball on one hop and not have a chance at any out. The infield single gave Molloy a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth, trailing 2-1 with a runner on second and two outs, Dana Moss hit a shallow pop right that resulted in a game-trying RBI single when the ball dropped between second baseman Victoria Slavic and right fielder Kristen McGoldrick.

The Stannners later scored two runs in the eighth Taylor Moss’ double and an error and sweep the season set from the Terriers.

“We did a couple of breaks,” ace pitcher Maria Palmeri said. “I guess some of our girls got it in the right places.”

TURNING POINT: Palmeri had struggled with her command for most of the afternoon, missing high in the zone, and also took a pitch off her hand during her third inning at-bat. In the sixth inning of a 2-2 game, Palmeri worked her way in and out of trouble and kept the game even.

Palmeri gave up a single and walked a batter to put two runners on to start the inning, but buckled down from there. She struck out St. Francis Prep’s Tara O’Rourke, who failed to get a bunt down, then induced a force out for the second out and retired Kerri Surdi on a pop to short to end the inning.

“The thing as a pitcher when you get the first two runs on you have to do it yourself,” Palmeri said. “You have to get one for yourself. If it’s a strikeout, if it’s a ground ball, it's something in the infield, an easy pop up, when you get behind, you have to get it for yourself.”

STAR OF THE GAME: Taylor Moss swung the bat well all day out of the No. 5 spot, giving Molloy the lead on two separate occasions. She could’ve had an even better day but a rocket she hit to left was snagged to end the fifth inning. Her go-ahead double was hit nearly to the same position, but curved closer to the line and dropped for a hit. Taylor Moss scored Molloy’s last run after a St. Francis Prep error.

“I was just hoping it stayed fair,” Taylor Moss said. “The last one she caught so I was hoping it would drop in.”

BIGGEST SURPRISE: While she had a very good game, striking out 10 hitters, Palmeri, had her back against the ropes several times in the game. One of the best softball pitchers in New York City, Palmeri gave up nine hits, including five in the third inning when St. Francis Prep took a 2-1 lead, and put runners on base in seven of the eight frames. The Terriers never got that big hit late, but made Molloy’s ace work for every out.

QUOTE: “They were starting to get down on each other. I said this is what we play for, win lose or draw, these are the games we like to play. Competitiveness of softball that’s what it’s all about and you appreciate the win a lot more when you play a good team.”—Rosenbaum about winning another title in a tightly contested game

UP NEXT: Molloy heads to Mary Louis Academy on May 10. St. Francis Prep goes to St. Edmund on May 9.

Brooklyn/Queens Girls Division I preview

March, 1, 2011
3/01/11
1:43
PM ET
The Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls tournament starts Tuesday with the quarterfinals. While this field looks like it might be a two-horse race, tet’s take a further look at who should emerge victorious, who will falter and who could possibly be the surprise champion.

THE SEEDS
  1. Nazareth (14-1)
  2. Christ the King (13-2)
  3. Mary Louis Academy (9-5)
  4. Archbishop Molloy (6-8)
  5. Bishop Ford (6-8)
  6. Bishop Loughlin (5-9)
  7. St. Francis Prep (4-10)
  8. Bishop Kearney (0-14)
THE SCHEDULE

Quarterfinals: March 1 at Molloy: No. 4 Molloy vs. No. 5 Bishop Ford; No. 2 Christ the King vs. No. 7 St. Francis Prep
Quarterfinals: March 1 at Nazareth: No. 3 Mary Louis Academy vs. No. 6 Bishop Loughlin; No. 1 Nazareth vs. No. 8 Bishop Kearney

Semifinals: March 3 at Christ the King: Molloy/Ford vs. Nazareth/Bishop Kearney; Christ the King/St. Francis Prep vs. MLA/Bishop Loughlin

Final: March 5 at Bishop Ford: Molloy/Ford/Nazareth/Kearney vs. Christ the King/St. Francis Prep/MLA/Bishop Loughlin

TEAM TO BEAT: Nazareth: Nazareth won the top overall seed by defeating Christ the King in a tiebreaker matchup last week. The Lady Kingsment have been the most consistent girls team in New York City, only losing one game in the state to Christ the King. With talented players at each position and a swarming defense, Nazareth will be a tough out for anyone.

THE FIZZLER: Bishop Loughlin It wasn’t that long ago that Bishop Loughlin was on a streak, winning several games in a row to move up the standings in the league. It fizzled down the stretch, losing games to Molloy, Bishop Ford and Christ the King to finish the season with a 1-3 mark. With a tough matchup with Mary Louis Academy in the quarters, don’t’ be surprised if Loughlin is one-and-done.

THE SLEEPER: Archbishop Molloy: After a loss to St. Francis Prep dropped Molloy to 9-11, the Stanners have rolled off wins against Holy Trinity, Bishop Loughlin and JFK to even their record on the season at 12-12 (they lost to Christ the King in that stretch). Tournaments are usually about which team gets hot at the right time. Molloy could be a problematic opponent potentially for Nazareth in the semifinals.

THE BEST QUARTERFINAL: Molloy vs. Ford: Both teams have been ranked in the top 10 at different points this season and this matchup is also important because the winning team will face Mary Louis Academy in the Brooklyn/Queens play-in game for the CHSAA Class AA tournament. Combine that with both teams hoping their season doesn’t’ end in the quarterfinals and you have a juicy matchup in the quarters.

THE FINAL WE WANT TO SEE(AND YOU TOO): Christ the King vs. Nazareth: They’re the best two teams in the city. They split their first two matchups and Nazareth won the third when both teams were missing stars. Let’s see it a fourth time for the Brooklyn/Queens title.

PREDICTIONS:

QF: Nazareth over BK
QF: Molloy over BF
QF: MLA over Loughlin
QF: CK over SFP

SF: CK over MLA
SF: Nazareth over Molloy

F: CK over Nazareth

CHSAA AA Intersectional preview

February, 26, 2011
2/26/11
11:23
PM ET
The CHSAA “AA” intersectional tournament begins Sunday with the first round. Let’s take a deeper look at the bracket and analyze who will emerge victorious from one of the toughest conferences in the country.

THE SEEDS

Brooklyn/Queens 1: Christ the King (19-6)
Archdiocese of NY 1: Rice (17-9)
Brooklyn/Queens 2: Holy Cross (16-11)
Archdiocese of NY 2: St. Raymond (16-10)
Brooklyn/Queens 3: Xaverian (16-8)
Archdiocese of NY 3: All Hallows (6-16)
Brooklyn/Queens 4: Bishop Loughlin (12-14)
Archdiocese of NY 4: St. Peter’s (18-7)
Brooklyn/Queens 5: Archbishop Molloy (13-12)
Brooklyn/Queens 6: St. Francis Prep (12-13)

THE BRACKET

First round: Sunday Feb. 27 at Holy Cross: B/Q 6 St. Francis Prep vs. NY 3 All Hallows (2 p.m.
B/Q 5 Archbishop Molloy vs. NY 4 St. Peter’s (3:45)

Quarterfinals: Thursday March 3 at St. Francis Prep: B/Q 1 Christ the King vs. Molloy/St. Peter’s
B/Q 2 Xaverian vs. NY 3 St. Raymond
Quarterfinals: Friday March 3 at Christ the King: B/Q 3 Holy Cross vs. St. Francis Prep/All Hallows
NY 1 Rice vs. B/Q 4 Bishop Loughlin

Semifinals: Wednesday March 9 at St. John’s University: Rice/Loughlin vs. Holy Cross/St. Francis Prep/All Hallows
Christ the King/Molloy/St. Peter’s vs. St. Raymond/Xaverian

Finals: Sunday March 13 at Fordham University: Rice/Loughlin/HC/SFP/AH vs. CK/Molloy/St. Peters/St. Raymond/Xaverian

TEAM TO BEAT: CHRIST THE KING: The Royals have won 10 straight contests entering the intersectional tournament and clearly are performing like the team everyone expected. The Royals are a complete team with depth at each position and can play fast or big depending on the tempo of the game. The only potential setback for the Royals is they are 1-2 against Xaverian/St. Raymond, who they would meet in the semis if they win in the quarterfinals.

SLEEPER TEAM: BISHOP LOUGHLIN: Bishop Loughlin enters the intersectional tournament with a losing record, but will be a tough out in the tournament. Loughlin has already beaten Rice, who it will meet in the quarterfinals, and bested Holy Cross in the final game of the season. With two wins against the best teams on its side of the bracket, Loughlin could make a run to the title game if it plays like it has recently during its 4-2 run to end the season.

FIZZLER: ST. RAYMOND: This pains us to write, but there’s a good chance that St. Raymond could be one-and-done in the intersectional tournament. After losing to Rice, St. Raymond draws Xaverian in the quarterfinals, a team that blew out the Ravens at the end of January. St. Raymond looked nothing like the team that had been winning against the best of the best in the city as it got blown out against Rice, and one has to wonder if that game will carry over to the playoffs.

BEST FIRST ROUND GAME: MOLLOY VS. ST. PETER'S: There was a time when Molloy could be considered one of the best teams in the city. That was a long time ago. The Stanners have lost seven of their last eight and are not playing anywhere near the level they were at the beginning of the season. St. Peter’s, meanwhile, has 18 wins but hasn’t exactly been tested this season. This will be a good matchup of teams desperate to try and end the season on a high note.

BEST QUARTERFINAL: XAVERIAN VS. ST. RAYMOND: It’s a shame that one of these two teams has to lose in the quarterfinals, but that’s the drawback of playing in one of the best conferences in the country. St. Raymond had looked like the best team in the league until Rice blew off its doors, while Xaverian had won six straight before losing two of its last four. One of these teams will lose in this game and wonder what could’ve been with their season.

THE SEMIFINAL MATCH WE WANT TO SEE: ST. RAYMOND VS. CHRIST THE KING: There’s only team that is undefeated against Christ the King in the CHSAA this year. That’s St. Raymond. The Ravens have a size advantage against most teams and were able to use that against the Royals as they upset Christ the King on the road. It would be exciting to see St. Raymond try and take down Christ the King two straight times, as the Royals 10-straight wins have all come after their loss to the Ravens.

PREDICTIONS:

1R: Molloy over St. Peter’s
1R: St. Francis Prep over All Hallows

QF: Rice over Bishop Loughlin
QF: Holy Cross over St. Francis Prep
QF: Xaverian over St. Raymond
QF: Christ the King over Molloy

SF: Rice over Holy Cross
SF:
Christ the King over Xaverian

F: Christ the King over Rice

CHSAA BK/Q Playoffs: Holy Cross 83, St. Francis Prep 59

February, 21, 2011
2/21/11
11:45
PM ET
NEW YORK – Holy Cross coach Paul Gilvary reminded his team before the game that people don’t get many second chances. But that’s exactly what the Knights had. They had another chance to avenge an early season loss to St. Francis Prep and the seniors had another chance to play a ball game on their home court. And Holy Cross made the most of it. The Knights made the Battle of the Francis Lewis Boulevard into a run off the block, dominating St. Francis Prep, 83-59, in the first round of the Brooklyn/Queens CHSAA tournament Monday night.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Holy Cross just did whatever it wanted almost from the opening tip. The Knights (15-10) handled Prep’s zone, blew through its full court press and forced the Terriers into an array of rushed shots.

Marquise Moore scored five straight points that ignited an 11-2 run that gave Holy Cross a 17-7 lead with 56 seconds left in the first quarter. The Knights never looked back. They also scored the first 11 points of the second quarter and opened 28-9 lead midway with 4:26 left in the half.

“I think we played a full 32 minutes tonight,” Gilvary said. “That’s something that we’ve really tried to stress. We’ve had other games were we didn’t play an entire game and that’s something we did a great job of tonight.”

St. Francis Prep (12-13) made a run in the third that started with a Glyne Straker runner in the lane and ended with breakaway layup from Mike Murray that closed the gap to 11 halfway through the quarter.

Still, it wasn't enough. Holy Cross responded with a 10-0 run of its own and went into the fourth with a 20-point advantage.

TURNING POINT: It didn’t seem like there was much that St. Francis Prep could do to stop the bleeding but it seemed that the Terriers troubles had a direct correlation with forward Andrew Winter nailed to be bench by foul trouble. Winter picked up his third foul with about two minutes left in the first quarter.

Holy Cross immediately went on a 6-0 surge and outscored St. Francis Prep, 25-13, for the remainder of the first half. With Winter in the game, the Terriers closed the deficit to 11. But then Winter earned his fourth with 3:47 left in the third and went back to the bench while the Knights closed the quarter 10-3.

Winter played 1:24 of the fourth before he fouled out and Holy Cross promptly pushed another 18-4 spurt.

STAR OF THE GAME: It could have been anybody. Even Conti had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists. Moore added 15 and Marcus Hopper had 13 points and 9 boards.

“Today was such a fun game in so many ways,” Conti said. “It’s the last game we’re ever going to play here. We beat Prep by 30 after they killed us here the first time. It was a really special game for me and Marcus.”

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Despite it being the final home game in a storied career for Conti, he was boo’ed every time he touched the ball by a contingent of St. Francis Prep fans large enough to make it feel like a road game.

“Prep fans are crazy,” Conti said. “If they boo you they must think a person is good. They were trying to get into me psychologically.”

QUOTE OF THE GAME: “I think we just played well. It didn’t matter who was in the game.”--Gilvary on Winter’s foul trouble leading to success:

UP NEXT: No. 3 Holy Cross will play No. 2 Xaverian at Christ the King at 6 p.m

No. 4 Bishop Loughlin 72, No. 5 Molloy 59: The score was tie at 46 with 7:15 left to play when an and-one layup by Elisa Boone completely turned the game around for Bishop Loughlin (12-13), which then outscored Molloy (13-12) 26-13 the rest of the way.

Joel Angus led the Lions with 16 points while Travis Charles added 13. Chris Dorgler and Marco Kozul had 15 for Molloy. Bishop Loughlin will top-seeded Christ the King, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.


Brooklyn/Queens playoffs preview

February, 21, 2011
2/21/11
1:25
PM ET
The Brooklyn/Queens boys basketball playoffs begins tonight with the first round games. Let’s take a deeper look into the brackets.

Schedule:

Monday at Holy Cross: 6 p.m.: No. 4 Bishop Loughlin (6-7) vs. No. 5 Archbishop Molloy (4-9)

7:30 p.m. No. 3 Holy Cross (6-7) vs. No. 6 St. Francis Prep (3-10)

Wednesday at Christ the King: 6 p.m. No. 2 Xaverian (7-6) vs. HC/SFP winner

7:30 p.m. No. 1 Christ the King (11-2) vs. BL/AM Winner

Friday at Christ the King: 7:30: Semifinals winners


TEAM TO BEAT:
Christ the King: The Royals have won eight game in a row wince losing to St. Raymond in overtime and appear to be playing their best ball of the season. In that stretch, they’ve beaten all of the teams remaining in the playoffs. With a star-studded cast that is loaded with future Division I players, the Royals are a deep and talented team that should emerge as the champions.

SLEEPER: Holy Cross: It’s hard to call the No. 3 squad a sleeper, but Holy Cross fits the mold. Holy Cross has beaten all the teams in the bracket outside Christ the King and suffered two close losses to the Knights. While the Knights didn’t finish the season in the best of fashion with two home losses to Christ the King and Bishop Loughlin, they still could put together a run to at least reach the finals.

FIZZLER: Archbishop Molloy: Molloy has lost six of its last seven in league play and has disappointed this season. The Stanners have beaten Xaverian and swept St. Francis Prep, but failed to do much damage outside of those wings. This is a team that was borderline top 10 at the beginning of the season but is nowhere near making the list now. Don't expect Molloy to suddenly turn on the gas for the playoffs.

BEST FIRST ROUND MATCHUP: Holy Cross vs. St. Francis Prep: Have to go with the two Queens rivals battling it out. The two teams are 1-1 against each other and this game should be an entertaining battle to see who gets to take on Xaverian in the next round. St. Francis Prep won the first game at Holy Cross, while the Knights returned the favor at the Terriers in early February.

PREDICTIONS:

1R:Loughlin over Molloy
1R: Holy Cross over St. Francis Prep

SF: Xaverian over Holy Cross
SF: Christ the King over Loughlin

F: Christ the King over Xaverian

Molloy downs St. Francis Prep in 2 OT classic

January, 22, 2011
1/22/11
12:39
AM ET
NEW YORK – One day, bespectacled, gray-haired men will trade remember-when stories about this game. It was the kind of game that caused lunchtable banter and graduates to high school basketball lore.

People will talk about a tireless crowd and tireless players and a game that never ran out of steam until Mark Parisi buried a wide-open, go-ahead three-pointer with 1:13 left. This classic ended in a 76-71 double-overtime victory for Molloy over rival St. Francis Prep Friday night at the Jack Curran Gymnasium in Briarwood.

“It was crazy the whole time,” senior Chris Dorgler said. “That’s one of the craziest games I’ve been in.”

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Down one point and a little more than a minute remaining, Thomas Pfeiffer scooped up an offensive rebound and found Parisi camped on the right wing for a three-pointer that gave Molloy a 72-71 lead in the second overtime.

Heroes were aplenty for the Stanners (12-4, 2-3) and Chris Garcia took his turn in the final minute. Garcia, who shot 3-for-18, stepped up when it matter. First he drew a charge that fouled out St. Francis Prep’s Andrew Winter with 59.1 left to play. It was Winter’s third offensive foul in the last two minutes.

Garcis went 4-for-4 from the free throw line after Parisi’s three and picked up a steal when Prep’s Mike Murray slipped and fell at half court with 1.5 left.

“I had been missing all game,” Garcia said. “I knew I’m a good free-throw shooter. I just wanted to knock them down. I’ve never been in a position like that before.”

TURNING POINT: Molloy was reeling headed into the fourth quarter. The team went scoreless for last 6:13 of the first half and was behind by as many as 11 in the third.

But Dorgler went nuts in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 of his game-high 24 points, none bigger than when he shimmied and nailed a three-pointer with 15 seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 60 and send the game into its first overtime.

“I’ve been hitting some big shots,” Dorgler said. “I just told George (Davis) to give it to me. I was feeling it.”

It’s no one that they chant his name during games at Molloy.

STAR OF THE GAME: Pick one. There’s Dorgler’s fourth quarter performance. He scored 17 of the team’s 22 fourth-quarter points and finished with 12 rebounds. Dorgler also went 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.

Every time Davis stripped the ball in the open court, something happened to change the momentum of the game. The first time he ripped Prep’s Joe Salerno at midcourt and postered him with a two-hand dunk. The last time he grabbed in a steal in the open court, he hit the second of two free throws to give Molloy a 69-66 lead with 44.4 seconds left in the first OT.

But then Prep’s James Chavis, who hadn’t scored the entire game, drilled a three from the right elbow with 27.8 left to send the game into its second extra period.

Then there’s Garcia. He missed 15 of his 18 shots and 12 of his 14 three-point attempts. Yet, he hit four straight free throws with a key steal to seal the game.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: With all the work the Terriers did to keep Molloy at bay, they demolished themselves with missed free throws. They shot 7-of-15 from the line.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We keep fighting. That’s pretty much who we are. We’re not the biggest or strongest team out there but we are going to keep fighting.”--Dorgler

UP NEXT: Molloy will stay at home Tuesday to face Xaverian, who beat Bishop Loughlin Friday night. St. Francis Prep heads back home to face Kellenberg Sunday.

Tournament spotlight: Aviator

December, 27, 2010
12/27/10
2:04
PM ET
TOURNAMENT SPOTLIGHT: Aviator Sports Holiday Hoops Tournament

WHEN: Dec. 28-30

WHERE: Aviator Sports & Events Complex, Brooklyn

TEAMS:
No. 8 Archbishop Molloy (7-0)
St. Francis Prep (5-2)
St. Edmund Prep (6-1)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (4-2 Brooklyn A South)
Curtis (5-1 Staten Island A)
Brooklyn Collegiate (6-1 Brooklyn A East)
Midwood (5-1 Brooklyn A South)
CSIHS/McCown (2-5 Staten Island A)

THE BRACKET:
St. Francis Prep vs. FDR
Curtis vs. St. Edmund
Brooklyn Collegiate vs. Archbishop Molloy
Midwood vs. CSIHS/McCown

BEST QUARTERFINAL: Curtis vs. St. Edmund: This matchup pits two tough teams against each other who have the potential to make the finals. Curtis is coming off a tough loss to Holy Cross, while St. Edmund is riding a five-game win streak into the contest, including a win against Stepinac in its last game on Dec. 20.

THE FAVORITE: Archbishop Molloy: Molloy is off to a fast start this year with a 7-0 record and could be 10-0 by the time this tournament is complete. It should be able to coast against its side of the bracket, but should see stiff competition in the final. Molloy is the best team in this tournament and should be able to win.

SLEEPER: CURTIS: Curtis hung tough in its loss to Holy Cross and barely lost to McKee/Staten Island Tech in its only league loss. The Warriors hang tough with teams and have the potential to beat both St. Edmund and the winner of the St. Francis Prep/FDR game. This could be a catapult for Curtis to enter the city rankings.

PREDICTIONS: St. Francis Prep defeats FDR; Curtis defeats St. Edmund; Molloy beats Collegiate; Midwood beats CSIHS/McCown

St. Francis Prep beats Curtis; Molloy beats Midwood

Championship: Molloy beats St. Francis Prep

Third place: Curtis beats Midwood

CHSFL Playoffs Preview

November, 3, 2010
11/03/10
11:41
AM ET
After eight weeks of play, the Catholic High Schools playoffs start this weekend. There are plenty of exciting games on tap for this weekend. Let’s take a look at each of the divisional matchups.

AAA PLAYOFFS

SCHEDULE

No. 8 St. Joseph by-the-Sea at No. 1 St. Anthony’s (Saturday, 7 p.m.)

No. 7 Holy Cross at No. 2 Iona Prep (Sunday, 1 p.m.)

No. 6 Mount Saint Michael at No. 3 Holy Trinity (Sunday, 1 p.m.)

No. 5 Xaverian at No. 5 Fordham Prep (Saturday, 7 p.m.)

BEST GAME: No. 7 Holy Cross vs. No. 2 Iona Prep

These two teams met earlier this season on Oct. 3 at Holy Cross and Iona Prep won in a rout, 38-13. While Holy Cross was picked to finish fourth, it slumped to a 3-5 record and finished sixth in the league. Iona Prep, meanwhile, finished second with a 6-2 mark, but is coming off a loss in its final game to St. Anthony’s.

In that game against St. Anthony’s, Iona Prep struggled in pass coverage. Which is why this game will be intriguing. Holy Cross has arguable the best receiver in the league in Stanford-bound Devon Cajuste. He’s a tall, strong receiver that can go up and get the ball. If he can catch close to 10 balls in the game, he can help Holy Cross keep it close on the road.

UPSET ALERT: No. 5 Xaverian vs. No. 4 Fordham Prep

This isn’t a knock on Fordham Prep. The Rams finished the season 8-0, only one of three teams in the league to not lose, Yet, the one knock on Fordham Prep has been its schedule this year. The Rams avoided St. Anthony’s, Iona Prep and Holy Trinity this season. You wonder if at some point the lack of competition will catch up to Fordham Prep.

Xaverian, meanwhile, has faced the best in the league. It’s losses this season came to St. Anthony’s, Iona Prep, Holy Trinity and Fordham Prep, which happen to be the top four seeds in the league. Clippers coach Joe DeSiena said in the past that he has the fastest team in the league, which could provide problems come playoff time.

While Fordham Prep did win the season matchup on Sept. 26, 27-17, this game could down to the final minute.

EHALT’S PICKS: I’m going all vanilla with the picks here. St. Anthony’s, Iona Prep, Holy Trinity and Fordham Prep all advance.

AA PLAYOFFS

No. 8 Cardinal Hayes at No. 1 Monsignor Farrell (Saturday, 6 p.m.)

No. 7 Christ the King at No. 2 Kellenberg (Saturday, 7 p.m.)

No. 6 Xavier at No. 3 Chaminade (Sunday, 1 p.m.)

No. 5 Archbishop Stepinac at No. 4 St. Francis Prep (Sunday, 1 p.m.)

BEST MATCHUP: No. 5 Archbishop Stepinac vs. No. 4 St. Francis Prep

We can call this matchup Part II because it’s a rematch of last year’s AA quarterfinal game between the two schools. In that contest, Stepinac came into the game 7-0 in the league, 8-0 overall, and lost in the first round to St. Francis Prep, the lowest ranked team in the AAA-AA Division.

This year, Stepinac again enters at 8-0 with a 7-0 league record. St. Francis Prep, meanwhile, is 0-8 overall. You can be sure that Stepinac wants to get revenge against St. Francis Prep for ruining its season last year, while the Terriers would like to get in the win column.

UPSET ALERT: No. 6 Xavier vs. No. 3 Chaminade

The home team, Chaminade, comes into the game without a win in its eight games and has scored more than 20 points in just one of its past five games. The Flyers never seemed to get over that opening week loss to Kellenberg, the first time they ever lost to Kellenberg.

Xavier, meanwhile, finished second in the AA-A division with its win over Christ the King in the season finale. Xavier has won five of its past six games since losing its first two games of the season. The Knights seem to be playing their best ball at the right part of the season

Let’s see if Xavier can pull out the win on the road against a former league powerhouse.

EHALT’S PICKS: I see more upsets happening here. Farrell and Kellenberg will win as the favorites, but Stepinac and Xavier will emerge in upsets.

A Playoffs

No. 4 Cardinal Spellman @ No. 1 St. John the Baptist (Sunday, 1 p.m.)

No. 3 Bishop Ford @ No. 2 St. Peter’s

Cardinal Spellman will be looking to win its first game of the season when it takes on St. John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist just missed the cutoff for the AA playoffs with a 3-4 league mark (3-5 overall) and won the season matchup, 25-20.

St. Peter’s finished 3-4 in the league, while Bishop Ford was 1-6 in league play. Bishop Ford’s lone win came against Cardinal Spellman. In the two team’s meeting on Sept. 18, St. Peter’s pulled out the road win, 13-6.

EHALT'S PICKS: Let’s go with chalk here. Final of St. John the Baptist vs. St. Peter’s next week in the final.

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