New York High School: St. Peter's

CHSFL AA playoffs breakdown

November, 3, 2011
11/03/11
1:45
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 "AA" playoffs will breakdown.

AA BRACKET
No.1 Fordham Prep vs. No. 8 St. John the Baptist
No. 2 Holy Trinity vs. No. 7 St. Peter’s
No. 3 Kellenberg vs. No. 6 Cardinal Hayes
No. 4 St. Joseph by-the-Sea vs. No. 5 Xavier

WHO IS THE TEAM TO BEAT?

Ehalt: Fordham Prep: The Rams are reeling and aren’t as good as they were perceived to be but they might be a little too much for the rest of this bracket.

Abruzzese: Xavier: The Knights went undefeated in league play displaying a strong offense and defense. It’s hard to see anybody stopping them and that includes No. 1 Fordham Prep.

Grautski: Fordham Prep: has knocked out other top competitors Holy Trinity and Kellenberg during the regular season, and its offense is averaging about 40 points per game.

Hunt: Xavier: It can say the one thing that no other team in AA can: It hasn’t lost a conference game. The Knights can really prove themselves against if they match up with Fordham Prep in the semifinal.

WHICH TEAM IS THE SLEEPER?

Ehalt: Xavier: Xavier went 7-1 this year with its only loss coming out of conference in its season-opening game. There’s no reason that it can’t run the table and pull this off like Stepinac last year.

Abruzzese: Holy Trinity: The Titans weren’t very impressive this season, but they pulled it together at the end to pick up a pair of big wins. This could be a sign that they finally got their act together. If so, they could surprise some teams in the playoffs.

Grautski: Kellenberg: Kellenberg defeated second-ranked Holy Cross during the regular season and only lost to Fordham Prep, 29-28. The 2-point conversion by Fordham Prep made the difference in the fourth quarter. Kellenberg’s only been shut out once this year

Hunt: Holy Trinity: Holy Trinity waxed St. Joseph by the Sea and then won a close game against a speedy Mount St. Michael last week. That’s the kind of win that catapulted a team through the playoffs.

WHICH TEAM COULD GET UPSET EARLY?

Ehalt: St. Joseph by-the-Sea: St. Joseph was the worst team in the AAA and they have a bad quarterfinal matchup against Xavier. They could be one-and-done in this thing.

Abruzzese: Fordham Prep: The Rams faced some tough teams this season and didn’t look good against any of them. They are also going into the playoffs with a 4-game losing streak. They likely will make past the first round, but a semifinals exit is just as likely.

Grautski: Holy Trinity: Holy Trinity lost to sleeper pick Kellenberg, 40-28, during the regular season, in a game when Kellenberg's quarterback wasn’t at his best. Kellenberg could defeat Holy Trinity again in the second round of the playoffs.

Hunt: Xavier: If Xavier is the team to beat then it also makes them the biggest candidate for an upset, especially if my bracket plays out. Holy Trinity has two wins this season.

WHAT’S THE TITLE GAME?

Ehalt: No. 5 Xavier over No. 1 Fordham Prep: Xavier has played the best of any of these teams and will beat its rival in a big game on Thanksgiving.

Abruzzese: No. 5 Xavier over No. 1 Fordham Prep: Xavier has the confidence as they were unbeaten in league play this year and they have the biggest offensive weapon in running back William Solomon. Fordham Prep hasn’t even come close to winning a big game this year either.

Grautski: No. 3 Kellenberg defeats No. 1 Fordham Prep: Fordham Prep is a great football team, but it isn’t invincible. Kellenberg will avenge its 1-point loss to knock Fordham Prep out in the final game.

Hunt: No. 5 Xavier over No. 1 Fordham Prep: This is a pick’em game. Fordham Prep is 3-5 but have played a tougher schedule than Xavier, which should feel like a team with something to prove.

TOURNAMENT PICKS?

Ehalt: Fordham over SJTB; Holy Trinity over St. P’s; Kellenberg over Hayes; Xavier over SJBTS; Xavier over Holy Trinity; Fordham over Kellenberg

Abruzzese: Fordham over SJTB; Holy Trinity over St. P’s; Hayes over Kellenberg: Xavier over SJBTS; Fordham over Hayes; Xavier over Holy Trinity

Grautski: Fordham over SJTB; Holy Trinity over St. P’s; Kellenberg over Hayes; SJBTS over Xavier; Fordham over SJBTS; Kellenberg over Holy Trinity

Hunt: Fordham over SJTB; Holy Trinity over St. P’s; Kellenberg over Hayes; Xavier over SJBTS; Fordham over Kellenberg; Xavier over Holy Trinity

O'Hara first chooses Moore, then Lafayette

July, 19, 2011
7/19/11
8:59
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Jamie O’Hare can finally just focus on basketball.

The rising senior first had to find a new school when she learned her previous school, St. Peter’s, would close at the end of the last academic year. O’Hare eventually chose to end her high school career close to home in Staten Island at Moore Catholic.

And once she was set choosing a new school to spend her final high school season, she immediately went about choosing an institution to continue her college career. About two months later, on Saturday, during the first July recruiting period, O’Hare committed to Lafayette.

The news was first reported in the New York Post.

“It was a lot of pressure on myself and my family,” said O’Hare, who led St. Peter’s to its 16th consecutive CHSAA Staten Island championship last season. “There was a lot of stress, trying to know where I was going to go to college and then trying to figure out where I was going to go to high school for my senior year. But once I figured out that I was going to go to Moore and I was ready. I was settled, I just focused on college. After that everything fell into place.”

O’Hare chose Lafayette over Wagner, Army and Navy. She said she feel in love with the school ever since she went to Lafayette for a prospect camp in June. Since then O’Hare said she had been hoping to get a call.

She chose Moore Catholic so that she could stay chose to home, where she developed her love for basketball playing CYO ball at St. Teresa’s under coach Tom Turner. She credited St. Peter’s coach Bob Daggett with guiding her through her high school career and she has already forged a relationship with Moore Catholic coach Rich Postiglione, who she said helped navigate her recruiting process.

“I have a really strong support system,” O’Hare said.

Now with her future decided, O’Hare, a 5-6 combo guard, is spending her summer working on her game, specifically honing her point guard skills. O’Hare has stepped in at the point for her travel team, the NYC Heat, after Mia Lynn Batista, a rising freshman at Mary Louis, had to leave the team because of family issues. She’ll likely be running the point when the Heat begin play at the USJN/Nike 17U National Championships, in Washington, D.C. Friday.

Heat coach Kevin White said she isn’t having any troubling making the adjustment.

“She’s very competitive,” White said. “She’s probably plays the hardest of any player I’ve ever coached. She just never takes a play off. She plays every minute.”

O’Hare isn’t completely unfamiliar with playing point guard though. She ran some point in grade school and shared duties with Christina Rubin at St. Peter’s. O’Hare said after talking to head coach Dianne Nolan, she expects to run the point at Lafayette as well.

“She pretty much told me that I’m going to take over at the one at Lafayette,” O’Hare said. “Just to know that I pretty much have a set spot, not that I’m not going to have to work hard, but they are already opening up and trusting me with a spot like that right away is pretty nice.”

Lafayette didn’t only have a position for her but everything she wanted. O’Hare said she loved the campus, the coaching staff, the school’s academic reputation and its proximity to home.

“I think it’s a great fit for her,” White said. “She knew that’s what she wanted so why wait?”

Top 10 Girls poll

March, 21, 2011
3/21/11
2:00
PM ET
Just one more weeks remains. By Sunday night, high school basketball will be over and the New York State Federation Champions will be crowned.

1. Nazareth (28-3/LW: 1): Nazareth will face the winner of Murry Bergtraum vs. Cicero-North Syracuse winner for the title Sunday.

2. Murry Bergtraum (22-3/LW: 2): Murry Bergtraum will face Cicero North Syracuse Saturday afternoon with a berth to the semifinals on the line. Cicero-North Syracuse features one of the nation’s best players in Breanna Stewart, who has committed to UConn.

3. Christ the King (21-9/LW: 3): Were the Royals simply just not as good as Nazareth this season or did they not perform to their capabilities? That’s the question coach Bob Mackey has to find the answer to.

4. South Shore (23-6/LW: 4): South Shore coach Anwar Gladden wasn’t happy with the referees against Murry Bergtraum, but the Lady Blazers were the better team last Sunday in the championship.

5. Moore Catholic (23-5/LW: 5): With St. Peter’s gone, does Moore Catholic become the school to beat on Staten Island? We think so.

6. Mary Louis Academy (19-9/LW: 6): The Hilltoppers turned it on in the postseason but got a bad draw against Nazareth. The Hilltoppers were 0-4 vs. Nazareth this year.

7. St. Peter’s (21-8/LW: 7): The process of choosing news schools will be a tough one for the St. Peter's girls.

8. JFK (18-10/LW: 8): JFK plays with a swagger instilled from head coach O’Neil Glenn and that will serve the team well in the future.

9. Francis Lewis (18-7/LW: 9): Getting to the PSAL semifinals was a start, but they probably didn’t expect to get blown out last week.

10. Archbishop Molloy (16-13/LW: 10): Molloy will meet Wings Academy Friday in the semifinals.

Girls Top 10 poll

March, 14, 2011
3/14/11
2:14
PM ET
No more can be said about whether Nazareth or Christ the King is the top team in the CHSAA. After the Lady Kingsmen beat the Royals three out of four teams, it’s clear Nazareth was the better team. And for all those who thought Murry Bergtraum was going to have a down year, a 13th straight title sure is a great prize for a “down year.”

1. Nazareth (28-3/LW: 1): After a miraculous come-from-behind win against St. Anthony’s in the semifinals, Nazareth held off Christ the King to win the Intersectional AA title. The Lady Kingsmen were the best team in the city from start to finish and will now try to finish off the season in Albany.

2. Murry Bergtraum (22-3/LW: 2): Murry Bergtraum heard all the critics saying that it would have a down year, but the Lady Blazers beat all challengers and won their 13th straight title. While this Murry team might not be as talented as the others, it’s certainly gritty, as it won several close games in the tournament.

3. Christ the King (21-9/LW: 3): Christ the King has to consider this season a disappointment. No division, tournament, or state title for a team with two Division I players is not the way the Royals expected this season to play out. For some reason, they could never put it all together.

4. South Shore (23-6/LW: 6): South Shore probably has more talent than Murry Bergtraum, but couldn’t find a way to beat the Lady Blazers for the title. After blitzing Francis Lewis, the Lady Vikings looked like prime candidates to end Murry’s run, but didn’t play their best game Sunday.

5. Moore Catholic (23-5/LW: 4): Moore Catholic’s season ended abruptly with a loss in the quarterfinals of the AA Tournament to St. John the Baptist. The Mavericks had a great season, winning two of four against St. Peter’s and establishing themselves as the premier CHSAA team on Staten Island for next season.

6. Mary Louis Academy (19-8/LW: 6): Mary Louis fell to 0-4 against Nazareth after it lost to the Lady Kingsmen in the quarterfinals of the AA Tournament. Mary Louis was 1-6 against Nazareth and Christ the King, but 18-2 against the rest of its competition. It just ran into the wrong teams at the wrong time.

7. St. Peter’s (21-8/LW: 7): St. Peter’s final season came to a close with a beatdown by St. Anthony’s in the Quarterfinals. It’s a rough ending for the Eagles, who lost for their final two games as the school closes at the end of the year. Now, for the younger players, they will have to find new homes.

8. JFK (18-10/LW: 9): JFK took Murry Bergtraum down to the wire, but couldn’t finish the job in the semifinals. The Lady Knights challenged themselves all season with a tough schedule, and it seemed to pay off as they pushed the eventual champions to the wire.

9. Francis Lewis (18-7/LW: 8): Francis Lewis drops a spot after not challenging South Shore in the finals. Leading up to the game, the Patriots had talked of revenge, but they didn’t even challenge South Shore. Still, a semifinal appearance is nothing to sneeze at.

10. Archbishop Molloy (16-13/LW: Unranked): While Molloy lost to AA Teams to enter the A Tournament, it still emerged as A Champions, which enters the Stanners back into our top 10 rankings. While they had an up-and-down season, that state title makes it all worth it.

Girls top 10 poll

March, 7, 2011
3/07/11
10:25
AM ET
There are four teams left in the PSAL "AA" tournament while the CHSAA begins its state tournament this week. Let's take a look at who are the top teams in the city heading into these final games.

1. Nazareth (25-3/LW: 1): Nazareth won the Brooklyn/Queens Division I title and will now look to win CHSAA Class AA state title.

2. Murry Bergtraum (20-3/LW: 3): Murry Bergtraum is going for its 13th straight PSAL "AA" title and will meet JFK in the semifinals.

3. Christ the King (19-8/LW: 2): Christ the King hasn't played up to its potential lately and could finish the season in a disappointing fashion.

4. Moore Catholic (23-4/LW: 5): Moore Catholic evened up the season series against St. Peter's.

5. South Shore (22-5/LW: 6): It wasn't pretty, but South Shore advanced to the semifinals of the AA tournament with a win over Midwood.

6. Mary Louis Academy (18-7/LW: 8): Mary Louis finally knocked off Christ the King in the Brooklyn/Queens Division I playoffs.

7. St. Peter’s (21-7/LW: 4): St. Peter’s will be the Archdiocesan No. 2 seed in the AA state tournament.

8. Francis Lewis (18-6/LW: 8): Francis Lewis gets its rematch against South Shore.

9. JFK (18-9/LW: 9): JFK will try to take down Murry in the semis.

10. Bishop Ford (12-14/LW: Unranked): Bishop Ford took down Molloy and battled Nazareth tough in the Brooklyn/Queens Division I tournament.

CHSAA Girls Archdiocesan Final Preview

March, 6, 2011
3/06/11
11:02
AM ET
CHSAA Archdiocesan Girls Final

WHO: Moore Catholic vs. St. Peter’s

WHEN: Sunday, 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: St. John Villa

WHY THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT: Moore Catholic and St. Peter’s have already battled three times this season. Meeting No. 4 takes place Sunday with the Archdiocesan title on the line.

St. Peter’s, ranked No. 4 in the city by ESPNNewYork.com, has won two of the three meetings between the two schools, the latest of which handed the Eagles their 16th straight CHSAA Staten Island title. St. Peter’s is looking to close its season strong as this will be the last season in school history as the school will close its doors at the end of the school year.

Moore Catholic, tabbed at No. 5 in the city, won the middle game of the set and is looking to try and even the series. The Mavericks are 22-4 on the season and can play with any of the best teams in the city, but brining home the Archdiocesan title will be quite the accomplishment. Then again, Moore Catholic knows St. Peter’s as well as any team in the city.


KEY PLAYERS:

St. Peter’s junior guard Jamie O’ Hare
St. Peter’s senior guard Christine Kline
St. Peter’s senior forward Ashley Motrechuk
Moore Catholic senior guard Jessica Coscia
Moore Catholic senior forward Taylor Baggs
Moore Catholic junior forward Christina Rubin

Coaches:
St. Peter’s: Bob Daggett
Moore Catholic: Rich Postiglione

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

St. Peter’s (21-6)
Nov. 28:
63-54 win vs. John F. Kennedy
Dec. 12: 72-46 win vs. Our Lady of Lourdes
Dec. 18: 70-40 win vs. St. John Villa
Dec. 19: 81-78 loss vs. Murry Bergtraum
Dec. 28: 47-41 loss vs. Teaneck (NJ)
Dec. 30: 53-49 loss vs. St. Rose (NJ)
Dec. 31: 68-18 win vs. University Academy (NJ)
Jan 6: 68-41 win vs. St. Joseph by-the-Sea
Jan 8: 67-63 win vs. East Orange Campus
Jan 11: 63-44 win vs. NDA
Jan. 14: 73-41 win vs. St. Joseph Hill
Jan. 15: 50-39 loss vs. Shabazz
Jan. 22: 67-60 win vs. Moore Catholic
Jan. 29: 77-39 win vs. St. Joseph by-the-Sea
Jan. 30: 55-51 win vs. JFK (NJ)
Feb. 5:
49-46 win vs. South Shore
Feb. 8: 52-50 loss vs. Moore Catholic
Feb. 12: 62-43 win vs. NDA
Feb. 14:
61-42 win vs. St. John Villa
Feb. 19: 61-55 win vs. St. Joseph Hill Feb. 20: 51-43 win vs. Ocean City Feb. 21: 53-50 win vs. Trenton Catholic Feb. 23: 68-41 win vs. North Bergen Feb. 24: 61-54 win vs. Moore Catholic Feb. 26: 64-38 win vs. Preston March 2: 51-49 win vs. Cardinal McCarrick
March 3: 64-43 win vs. St. John Villa

Moore Catholic ( 22-4)
Dec 4: 59-58 win vs. JFK
Dec. 11: 70-33 win vs. St. John Villa
Dec. 16: 54-35 win vs. South
Dec. 17: 44-32 loss vs. Shaler Area
Dec. 18: 52-49 win vs. Upper Darby Dec. 29: 66-33 win vs. St. Mary’s
Dec. 30: 64-30 win vs. Bishop Kearney Jan. 4 : 39-26 win vs. Cardinal Spellman
Jan. 8: 59-35 win vs. St. Joseph Ill Jan. 9: 50-38 win vs. Piscataway
Jan. 13 : 66-35 win vs. St. Joseph-by-the-Sea
Jan. 15: 42-27 win vs. St. Anthony (NJ)
Jan. 17: 59-38 win vs. Western
Jan. 22:
67-60 loss vs. St. Peter’s
Jan. 29: 49-44 win vs. Francis Lewis
Jan. 30: 58-48 win vs. Manasquan
Feb. 2: 53-38 win vs. St. John villa
Feb. 5: 69-38 win vs. Notre Dame Academy
Feb. 8: 52-50 win vs. Moore Catholic
Feb. 10: 61-43 win vs. St. Joseph Ill Feb. 12: 48-43 loss vs. Murry Bergtraum Feb. 14: 44-26 win vs. NDA
Feb. 19: 71-25 win vs. St. Joseph-by-the-Sea
Feb. 24: 61-54 loss vs. St. Peter’s
Feb. 26:
48-35 win vs. Maria Regina
March 4: 57-26 win vs. Cardinal Spellman

Girls top 10 rankings

February, 28, 2011
2/28/11
2:28
PM ET
Two tiebreaking matchups to determine seeds for the playoffs have created change at the top of our poll. Nazareth retakes the crown while St. Peter’s moves up the pecking order. Let’s take a look.

1. Nazareth (22-3/LW: 2): Nazareth defeated Christ the King and holds a 2-1 series lead with a fourth game looming Saturday.

2. Christ the King (18-7/LW: 1): Christ the King lost to Nazareth without its best player as the reserves failed to step up.

3. Murry Bergtraum (18-3/LW: 3): Murry Bergtraum faces No. 16 Dewitt Clinton Tues.

4. St. Peter’s (17-6/LW: 5): St. Peter’s won its 16th straight Staten Island title and is headed on a path to face Moore Catholic for the fourth time.

5. Moore Catholic (21-4/LW: 4): Moore Catholic now is 1-2 against St. Peter’s.

6. South Shore (20-5/LW: 6): South Shore faces No. 15 Boys & Girls Wednesday.

7. Francis Lewis (16-6/LW: 8): Francis Lewis battles No. 14 James Madison Wednesday.

8. Mary Louis Academy (16-7/LW: 9): The Hilltoppers picked up a nice win against Long Island Lutheran Thursday.

9. JFK (16-9/LW: 7): JFK lost to Molloy and faces No. 13 August Martin Tuesday.

10. McKee/SI Tech (19-5/LW: 10): McKee/SI tech faces No. 11 Truman Wednesday.

Rapid Reaction: CHSAA Intersectional: St. Peter's 59, Molloy 54

February, 27, 2011
2/27/11
8:43
PM ET
NEW YORK – Charlie Driscoll has been here before. Last season, his St. Peter’s boys basketball team appeared in the CHSAA “AA” intersectional tournament's first round against Archbishop Molloy at Holy Cross in Flushing. This season: same round, same opponent, same venue.

Driscoll didn’t want to think much about that game though as St. Peter’s lost that game by one point on a last second buzzer beater by Molloy’s Chris Dorgler, but he didn't Dorgler to beat his squad again.

“We knew he beat us in the same game we played last year,” Driscoll said. “He's the one who beat us. So we didn’t want to let him do that again. We wanted to try to limit him today. If we thought we could limit him to 13 then we would have an opportunity to win this game.

That’s exactly what St. Peter’s (19-7) was able to do, limited Dorgler and beat Molloy 59-54 at Holy Cross Sunday night to advance to the CHSAA quarterfinals.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: The key to this game was St. Peter’s establishing an early lead and holding it throughout the game. Molloy (13-13) had its chances, but St. Peter’s played strong defense all night and kept the Stanners from getting on any runs and never trailed.

“We a good job boxing out and limited them to one shot per possession,” St. Peter’s senior Stefan Bock said. “Our main thing was defense because we are short as it is and most teams are bigger than us so we try to limited them to one shot, play defense, and play hard.”

St. Peter’s jumped out to an early 11-3 lead in the first quarter. The Eagles grabbed all of their points in the first five minutes of the quarter and struggled to score late, but they’re defense didn’t lapse at all and they maintained their eight-point lead. The second quarter was more of the same. St. Peter’s controlled the offense and when it struggled to score at times, it still played strong defense and never really let Molloy get many chances in the first half.

The second half was a bit of a different story. In the third quarter Molloy made it interesting by tying the game at 32-32 with 2:15 left in the quarter, but Patrick Fennell and Bock hit big shots to end the quarter with a 36-32 lead.

TURNING POINT: The fourth quarter was more of a wide open offensive game than the first three quarters. Dorgler hit a big shot early in the quarter that brought the lead to within four points, and he hit an even bigger three-point shot with just 1:03 left in the game. Unfortunately for Molloy, he was called for his fifth foul and fouled out with 42 seconds left in the game.

Without Dorgler to make the big shot in the final seconds again, St. Peter’s relaxed a bit and held on during the final seconds to take a 59-54 victory.

“We knew he was in foul trouble so we were trying to draw some fouls off of him,” Driscoll said. “When he fouls out, the game is not over, but their main guy that we were worried about, we don't have to worry about anymore. Put it this way, I wasn't unhappy.”

STAR OF THE GAME: The offensive star of the game could be Bock with his 19 points, or junior Andrew Cannon with his 16, but senior Vernon Maddox was the emotional star of the game.

The 5-4 guard played a strong game leading the offense and picked up 11 points, including 10 in the second half. His performance is even more impressive considering the ordeal he went through coming into the game.

Maddox's grandfather, Robert Jenkins was found dead at the age of 68 on according to the Staten Island Advance. The paper said the cause of Jenkins death was unknown.

Driscoll said the loss weighed heavily on Maddox’s mind.

“He's had a rough week,” Driscoll explained. “Yesterday I went over to his house, his mother told me he wanted to play. I was surprised, but he told me that the only time he isn't thinking about it is when he's on the court. He's a tough kid, a tough minded kid.

“I wasn't worried though. Knowing him, I just know him and how tough minded he is, I just figured he was going to have a great game.”

QUOTE OF THE GAME: “Who knows, it's high school basketball. We'll play as hard as we can next week and we'll see what happens. It's great that we won today, but now we get Christ the King. It's better than not playing.”--Driscoll about facing Christ the King

TOURNAMENT NOTES: In the other tournament matchup St. Francis Prep (13-13) beat All Hallows (6-17) 55-50. The big performer for St. Francis Prep was senior Glyne Straker who scored 21 points. St. Francis Prep will now face Holy Cross for the fourth time this season in the quarterfinals.

UP NEXT: St. Peter’s will go on to the quarterfinals where they will play Christ the King this Thursday at St. Francis Prep in Queens.

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

Rapid Reaction: No. 5 St. Peter's 61, No. 4 Moore 54 (OT)

February, 24, 2011
2/24/11
9:37
PM ET
NEW YORK - Nearly 1000 people packed into the gym at Monsignor Farrell Thursday night to watch there to watch St. Peter's girls basketball team defend its Staten Island CHSAA division title that it had won the previous 15 years against Moore Catholic. While the division title certainly attracted fans, the sad news that St. Peter’s is shutting its doors following the season also played a role in the large turnout.

“I've never played in front of so many people before,” said St. Peter's Jamie O'Hare. “I loved it. It's overwhelming and it puts a lot of pressure on you. It's great.”

The huge boisterous crowd was not disappointed either as No. 5 St. Peter’s(17-6) went into overtime to win its sixteenth consecutive Staten Island title when it beat No. 4 Moore (20-4) 61-54 Thursday night behind a great game from senior Christine Kline who scored 19 points.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: The first half of the game was focused on defense. Both teams put an emphasis on it in the first quarter and when St. Peter’s got a little sloppy in the second quarter Moore was able to jump out to a 25-19 lead by the end of the first half.

That lead didn’t last long though as St. Peter’s slowly chipped away at Moore’s lead throughout the third quarter. The Eagles came out and played much better defense in the third quarter and were able to come within one point of Moore by the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Kline finally got hot. In the first three quarters she had just one point, but she hit two free throws at the 7:00 mark that seemed to wake her right up.

“Something came over me and I just started making shots,” explained Kline.

Unfortunately for St. Peter’s, Moore’s Taylor Baggs, who scored 19, also got hot. After every shot Kline made, Baggs was right there to even the score for Moore. In total there were seven different lead changes in the quarter and when it was over the two teams were tied at 48.

“When we went in I told them that I thought it was great,” St. Peter’s head coach Bob Daggett said. “At half time I told them that we could be down by a lot more and we should be happy. We were going to get to play overtime and I thought it was tremendous that we were still playing.”

St. Peter’s dominated the four minute overtime. O’Hare came out and hit two free throws almost immediately. Then Kline went to work. She hit one basket, then two, and then she went to the free-throw line three times. By the end she had scored nine points in overtime to help her team win the Staten Island division championship.

“I feel like that because I'm a senior it was my time to step up and lead the team,” Kline said. “I feel like I did what I was supposed to.”

TURNING POINT: In a game that had 13 lead changes, including 10 in the third quarter and overtime, it's hard to pick a single turning point. The late fouls were what did Moore in. In the overtime period St. Peter’s went 7-of-8 from the free throw line which ended up being the difference. Kline alone was 5-of-6 from the line.

“Christine wasn't going to miss,” O’Hare said. “She kept taking foul shots and they kept going in and it won us the game.”

STAR OF THE GAME: As good as Kline was, the star of this game was O’Hare. Without O’Hare’s work throughout the game Kline would have never had gotten the opportunity to make the big push late..

O’Hare had 18 points overall including 15 in regulation. Her biggest play in the game occurred when the two teams were tied at 43 with just 1:49 left in regulation. Moore was inbounding the ball and O’Hare stole the ball from under the net and then put it in for a quick two points while also drawing a foul. She then made the bucket to make it a three-point play.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Sophomore Kristen Olsen came up with 10 big points playing in just her third varsity game of her career. She was the leading scorer on the JV team, but coach Daggett called her up because he felt like his team was lacking something.

“We didn't have a guard to come off the bench,” Daggett said. “We've been struggling from the outside and she had a tremendous year on the JV. We thought about it and talked to her parents about it and we decided to call her up. We needed some help off the bench and she gives it to us.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “If they were not going to keep the school open at least we could win a championship to close it out. There were a lot of extra people in the stands tonight. A lot of alumni came out to say their final good bye. It makes you very satisfied when they come back and go home happy.”--Daggett

UP NEXT: It’s onto the Archdiocesan playoffs for these two teams. Neither is sure of their next opponent, but they should will both play Saturday.

Archdiocese of New York AA playoffs preview

February, 22, 2011
2/22/11
1:56
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The Archdiocese of New York AA boys basketball playoffs begins tonight with two semifinals games. Let’s take a deeper look into the brackets.

Schedule:

Tuesday at Mount St. Michael: 6 p.m.: No. 3 All Hallows (2-9) vs. No. 2 Rice (6-4)
7:30 p.m. No. 4 St. Peter’s (5-1) vs. No. 1 St. Raymond (9-2)

Saturday at Mount St. Michael: 1 p.m.: Semifinals winners
TEAM TO BEAT: St. Raymond: Ever since losing to Rice on Jan. 14, the Ravens have been a completely different team, winning eight of their last 10 games, with one of those losses coming at the hands of No. 1 Lincoln. The team has a good frontcourt and the guard play is strong enough to win a lot of games. St. Raymond started clicking at the right time and will be a tough out.

SLEEPER: St. Peter’s: St. Peter’s is 18-6 on the season and has already beaten Rice, albeit with some of the Raiders players missing the game. The team has pretty much been in every game it has lost, including a 56-43 loss at St. Raymond, and will be a tough out for the Ravens in the first round. The Ravens did not get any favorable draws by getting St. Peter’s in the first round.

FIZZLER: All Hallows: You could make the case that All Hallows is the worst team in the CHSAA AA divisions this season. All Hallows lost its last six games heading into the tournament and has not won since beating St. Peter’s at home on Jan. 22. While All Hallows has beaten some teams now and then, it’s only beaten teams at the bottom of the standings. Don’t expect an upset of Rice.

BEST SEMIFINAL MATCHUP: St. Raymond vs. St. Peter’s: When choosing between rematches of a 44-point game and a 13-point game, it’s safer to say the 13-point rematch should be better. St. Raymond vs. St. Peter’s should be an exciting game in the night cap that will be a tougher test for the Ravens than some think. St. Peter’s knows how to win and will challenge the Ravens.

PREDICTIONS:

SF: Rice over All Hallows
SF: St. Raymond over St. Peter’s

F: St. Raymond over Rice

Girls top 10 poll

February, 21, 2011
2/21/11
1:07
PM ET
While there are few girls games this week, we are going to get to see some key rematches for titles between Christ the King and Nazareth and St. Peter’s and Moore Catholic.

1. Christ the King (17-6/LW: 1): Christ the King will try to make it two of three against Nazareth Wednesday.

2. Nazareth (21-3/LW: 2): Nazareth can reclaim the top spot by beating Christ the King.

3. Murry Bergtraum (18-3/LW: 3): Murry Bergtraum faces Dewitt Clinton next week in the second round of the PSAL tournament.

4. Moore Catholic (20-3/LW: 4): Moore Catholic faces St. Peter’s for Staten Island title.

5. St. Peter’s (13-5/LW: 5): St. Peter’s will try to win its 16th straight Staten Island title.

6. South Shore (20-5/LW: 6): South Shore faces Boys & Girls in the second round.

7. JFK (16-8/LW: 7): JFK will take on August Martin next round.

8. Francis Lewis (16-6/LW: 8): Francis Lewis battles James Madison next.

9. Mary Louis Academy (14-6/LW: 9): The Hilltoppers picked up a win against St. Francis Prep.

10. McKee/SI Tech (19-5/LW: Unranked): McKee/SI tech faces Truman in the tournament.
NEW YORK -- The St. Peter’s Lady Eagles will never play another home game again.

Ever.

That’s why they were thrilled to come away with a 61-55 victory over the St. Joseph Hill Hilltoppers in front of a packed house on Saturday night in Staten Island.

Junior guard Jamie O’Hara led the way with 23 points, while senior guard Christina Kline added 18 points for St. Peter’s (15-5), which will take on rival Moore Catholic (20-3) on Thursday night for the right to capture the CHSAA Staten Island title.

If the Lady Eagles win, it would be their 16th consecutive CHSAA Staten Island title -- and also their last. On Feb. 11, the Archdiocese of New York announced that St. Peter’s would be closing at the end of the school year.

The announcement left everyone stunned and crushed, especially coach Bob Daggett, who has been with the program for more than 25 years -- 23 of which as head coach.

“It’s not over yet,” Daggett said after his team improved to 9-1 in the league, setting up a tiebreaker matchup with Moore Catholic to decide this year’s champion. “We’ve still got games Sunday, Monday and Wednesday and then the game against Moore, so we’re gonna try to finish strong. We still have a little ways to go.”

WHAT IT MEANS:
Saturday night served as Senior night for nine of the 12 girls on the Lady Eagles. But it also meant the last home game for O’Hara and sophomores Gabby Tasca and Kayla Wilkes as well.

“It’s sad that we’re not gonna have a place to go back to,” Kline said. “But we want to win on Thursday so that we can go out on top.”

They wouldn’t have had that opportunity had they not taken care of the Hilltoppers (14-10). But with O’Hara and Kline leading the way, St. Peter’s put itself in a position to leave on top.

“Moore’s a very good team,” Daggett said. “It’s going to be tough. It won’t easy. We’re going to have to play better defense than we did tonight.”

TURNING POINT: St. Peter’s trailed by two with 1:32 remaining in the third quarter, but O’Hara sparked a 12-0 run spanning the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth with a 3-pointer, and Kline capped it with a steal and a layup, putting the Lady Eagles up 45-35 with 6:43 left.

St. Joseph Hill eventually cut its double-digit deficit to 53-51 with 1:32 remaining, but O’Hara was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws 16 seconds later, making it a two-possession game.Kline put St. Peter’s up seven after draining a pair of free throws of her own with 44.6 seconds left. By that point, it was over.

STARS OF THE GAME: O’Hara and Kline for St. Peter’s. Sophomore center Kelsey Carey for St. Joseph Hill. Carey was a dominant force inside the paint, scoring at will whenever she caught the ball down low. Like O’Hara, she also finished with 23 points, although 15 of those came in the first half.

But when the game was on the line, it was O’Hara and Kline that made the difference, getting steals and turning those takeaways into easy layups at the other end.

THE END: Daggett was driving to practice to meet his team when he got the call on Feb. 11 that changed his life.

By the end of the school year, there would be no school. There would be no basketball program.

“It was shocking and sad,” Daggett said. “I just tried to console the kids. And it was tough, because I didn’t have any answers. As you can probably figure out, we didn’t practice.”

But there was no time to dwell on the unfortunate turn of events.

“You can’t,” Daggett said. “That’s part of being the coach of the team. I’ve been coaching a long time. You have to stay in the moment. That’s your job.”

SUPPORT: More than 600 people crammed into St. Peter’s High School for Boys Gym on Saturday night. Even some of of Daggett’s former players were in attendance.

Talk about a family atmosphere.

“To have a lot of them come back,” Daggett said. “It means a great deal to me.”

Daggett, who said he doesn’t know what the future holds for him, said he’ll always remember the kids. Even more so than the victories.

“Winning is nice,” Daggett said. “But in the long run, it’s about the relationships and seeing the kids go on and achieve success.”

St. Peter's Girls to close

February, 14, 2011
2/14/11
1:22
PM ET
St. Peter’s High School for Girls, one of the most successful girls programs in the city and on Staten Island, will close at the end of the school year, the Archdiocese of New York announced Friday in a press release.

According to the pres release, the school currently has 105 students and is projected to house less than 95 students for the 2011-12 academic year. With such a low numbers, the school would need subsidies for next year and in the future. This move will not affect St. Peter’s Boys’ High School.

This is the second premier girls basketball program to close its doors within the past year as St. Michael Academy closed at the end of the 2009-10 academic year. Most of the players followed head coach Apache Paschall to Nazareth Regional in Brooklyn.

St. Peter’s, ranked No. 5 by ESPNNewYork.com, is 13-5 this seasons and recently had its streak of 34 straight CHSAA Staten Island victories snapped. The Eagles have also won 15 consecutive division titles on Staten Island.

Top 10 girls poll

February, 14, 2011
2/14/11
1:00
PM ET
As usual, there isn’t much change atop the girls poll. Christ the King dropped a game, but that won’t put the Royals below Nazareth. We need to see head-to-head results to change the top two spots.
1. Christ the King (15-6/LW: 1): Christ the King lost to a New Jersey foe, but beat St. Francis Prep and Mary Louis.

2. Nazareth (20-3/LW: 2): Nazareth picked up a pair of wins over the weekend.

3. Murry Bergtraum (18-3/LW: 3): Murry Bergtraum is the top seed in the PSAL AA tournament.

4. Moore Catholic (18-3/LW: 4): Moore Catholic defeated St. Peter’s, but fell to Murry.

5. St. Peter’s (13-5/LW: 4): St. Peter’s fell to its Staten Island rival, but rebounded for a win against Notre Dame Academy.

6. South Shore (20-5/LW: 6): South Shore went 3-1 this week and will be the No. 2 seed in the PSAL AA tournament.

7. JFK (16-8/LW: 9): JFK is the No. 4 seed in the AA tournament and a team that will want to be avoided.

8. Francis Lewis (16-6/LW: 10): Francis Lewis entered as the 10 seed and actually won all of its games to move up.

9. Mary Louis Academy (14-6/LW: 7): It’s getting hard to figure out Mary Louis after dropping two games this week.

10. Bishop Loughlin (12-8/LW: Unranked): Here’s Bishop Loughlin again. It picked up nice wins against Kearney, Truman and Mary Louis Academy.

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