February 15, 2008

LuHi Gets Friar-ed NJ Style

One thing you have to admit is that the NYCHoops Long Island #3 ranked L.I. Lutheran Crusaders like to challenge themselves. And challenge they did as on Thursday they faced the number one school in the country, New Jersey's St. Anthony Friars. The Friars are formidable as they host a stacked starting five that all committed to top D1 schools as well as top D1 players coming off the bench. The question wasn't "if" St. Anthony's would win but by how much.

Although the Crusaders did compete with the Friars for the first two quarters, St. Anthony's was never outside of their comfort zone as they defeated LuHi, 65 - 48.

Tyshawn Taylor started things off scoring easily off a Dominic Cheek assist followed by a Jiovanny Fontan lay-up. It seemed as if St. Anthony was heading for a rout over LuHi but then Jeriel Henriquez nailed one of his patented three-pointers, over the Friar's Mike Rosario signaling that St. Anthony's would have to earn their win like any other.

The first quarter ended with the Friars up by 9 and by midway through the half, the Crusaders were down by 15 points. 6'6" senior center A.J. Rogers was effective on the inside for St. Anthony's while 6'5" junior Cheek and 6'3" senior Rosario scorched LuHi from the perimeter.

5'10" senior guard Rich Harkins hit three three-pointers in the 2nd quarter to keep Lutheran within a respectable range but the first half would end with the Friars ahead 37 - 28. LuHi did, however make a statement by absorbing an onslaught that would have crushed most teams.

In the third quarter, St. Anthony's came out more fired up. They seemed almost annoyed that a Long Island school dared to compete with them. Fordham-bound Jio Fontan pushed the ball to the hole aggressively and pushed the Friar lead to 14 points but Henriquez would counter and seated Fontan with his third foul. Soon after, Dom Cheek would pick up his third and suffer a similar fate. This, however, didn't slow the Friars as 6'4" senior guard Alberto Estwick would nail two quick three-pointers from the corner followed by 6'0" senior Travon Woodall hitting a floater to push the Friar lead to 20 points. Harkins would, however hit another 3-ball for LuHi, ending the quarter down 56 - 37.

6'7" senior Brian Wilson would score a slam-dunk for LuHi in the fourth to the cheers of the Lutheran Gym however, this game was over, as Jio Fontan would push the lead to 21 point off a driving lay-up. LuHi would cut the lead to 17 points in the end but the Friar defense would totally shut down any offensive help from its usual weapons. Matt Rooney was held to only 2 points and Kevin Johnson only contributed 4 points.

High scorers for St. Anthony were Mike Rosario and Travon Woodall with 16 points apiece. L.I. Lutheran was carried by Rich Harkins who knocked down 19 points, which included four three-pointers and Jeriel Henriquez, who contributed 13 points.

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