By Owen Barthel ’19
Chaminade varsity basketball’s magical run to the state championship game ended in disappointment on Saturday with a 55-47 loss to Monsignor Farrell.
The game, played in the airy, old-school gym at Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus in the Bronx, was competitive throughout, but Farrell pulled away in the end by taking care of the ball and knocking down a trio of three pointers during the fourth quarter.
With the Flyers sporting their crimson uniforms and Farrell in their home whites, the Lions took the opening tip and turned it into a quick bucket in the paint. Bobby Connors ’18 of the Flyers immediately countered with a three, and the game was on.
On the line in this game: not only a state title, but a trip to the NYS Federation Basketball Tournament in Glens Falls later this month.
In the first quarter, the Flyers looked bigger, stronger, and faster than the Lions of Monsignor Farrell, and the team looked to exploit this advantage by pushing the ball quickly up court. The strategy resulted in some easy baskets, but the Flyers also missed a few easy looks. Farrell’s methodical offense and strong rebounding carried the Lions to a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The early part of the second quarter featured more of the same, with the Flyers trying to push the pace and Farrell taking advantage of some Chaminade turnovers. The smaller Farrell players got back quickly on defense and on offense were able to get to the hoop with ease. By the middle of the quarter, though, the Farrell players fatigued, and the Flyers turned a few defensive stops into easy baskets. Chaminade then took the lead, 25-21, on a steal and layup by Connors. Later in the quarter, a spectacular block by Kyle Murphy ’17 led to another easy basket. The half ended with Chaminade riding a wave of momentum en route to a six-point lead.
Chaminade appeared to be on the verge of breaking the game wide open in the third quarter. Early on, the Flyers pushed out to their biggest lead of the game—eight points. However, Farrell kept converting key baskets and steals to keep the game close. In the latter part of the third, the Flyers hit a dry spell, and Farrell closed the gap to 40-37.
The fourth quarter started with Murphy, Connors, Kellen Paradine ’17, Michael O’Connell ’20 and Brendan McGuire ’18 on the floor for Chaminade. Right away, Farrell hit a triple to knot the game up at 40. Farrell then hit two more threes, while Chaminade countered with four points via the foul line to make the score 46-44 in favor of Farrell. Three minutes remained in the game. While trying desperately to get to the rim, Chaminade would score only three points the rest of the way. To close out the game, Farrell pushed out its lead behind a deflating three-pointer and a string of late-game foul shots.
Despite the final outcome, it was a historic run for one of the most talented Chaminade teams in recent memory. With a dearth of talent returning next year, the future looks bright for a team dead set on repeating the success they enjoyed this season.