You could almost hear the mocking chant inside the Holy Trinity gym, cheers for Titan senior Mike Williams as he was led off the court, ejected after getting into a fight with Chaminade senior Andrew Suozzi over a push to the head of Flyer center John Patterson in a game Wednesday night at Holy Trinity.
“It’s always intense, but not really to that point,” Titans head coach Chris Hardardt said. “Both teams have good kids, nothing’s going to happen.”
If the contingent of Chaminade fans – the “Faithful” they call them – had been there, the chants might have gone the other way, might have erupted in a syncopated scold of “You can’t do that!” toward the risers of green and white.
Instead, both players were sent to their respective lockers, Callaghan to applause and Suozzi in silence, the rest of his team to follow him shortly after the 69-58 final score.
For the Flyers, who typically begin games with a blast of scoring to lead their opponents, it was a squad who had a tough time keeping up with the Titans, managing the deficit to 4 points before allowing a 15-4 run in the third.
“When we’re playing at our best we’re defending very well,” Hardardt said. “I knew that we were going to have to do that tonight because they have great inside-out combination with Patterson and Gallego and Farrell. So we did a very good job on all of those guys.”
You can’t do that.
It was a matter of a defense stumbling where their much vaunted 3-2 zone strategy was overcome by a Holy Trinity team (14-9, 8-3) answering Chaminade’s dare to shoot from downtown, including a tour-de-force 23 points from Mike Callaghan including a field goal at the buzzer to end the third, sending the crowd into more of a tizzy.
You can’t do that.
“He’s got a knack for making big shots; he’s a gutsy kid,” said Hardardt of his guard. “We like to play inside-out and try to get the ball in, if they collapse then we throw it back out for a three but you have to make shots if somebody’s going to play a zone.”
It was desperation moves meant to keep the ball from heading out of bounds but resulting in turnovers anyway as the rock fell into Titans palms on the blind over-the-shoulder inbounds.
You can’t do that.
And it was turning the ball over more times than an IHOP pancake through misread rebounds, mishandling of the rock that made you wonder if the Flyers (12-10, 5-5) had mistakenly greased their palms with WD-40 instead of chalk dust and long-ball passes that might have well been meatballs for Titans players to snatch out of the air.
“That’s kind of what we do,” Hardardt said. “We have a little press that we do and we try to wear people down as the game goes on and hope to get some turnovers without giving anything up.”
With the season winding down, the Flyers have basically locked themselves into the number four seed for the playoffs with the loss, but will have a chance to improve their regular season with two games, one against St. John the Baptist at home and St. Mary’s away, which, if other teams have in fact figured out how to penetrate their zone, will be good tests to fine tune their defensive alignment again or adapt.
That’s something they can do.1234F Chaminade High School14 15 4 2558Holy Trinity19 16 15 1969
Chaminade Scoring StatisticsPlayerPositionFGs3PTsFTsPoints John Patterson Center 7 0 3 17 Patrick Farrell Forward 3 1 1 10 Brian Ehrhardt Guard 1 2 2 10 Mike Walsh Forward 2 1 0 7 Thomas Ahern Guard 0 1 4 7 John Gallego Guard 1 2 0 4 Sean Walsh Guard 1 0 0 2 Jack Carrigan Forward 0 0 1 1
Holy Trinity Scoring Statistics PlayerPositionFGs3PTsFTsPoints Michael Callaghan Guard 6 1 8 23 Jason Oder Forward 2 4 4 20 Damon Coleman Guard 6 1 1 16 Ryan St. John Guard 0 1 0 3 Isiah Rowe-Ukey Forward 2 0 0 2 Thomas Callaghan Forward 0 0 2 2