Thirteen months ago Jim Quinn was looking out on . He had just notched his 400th win two days prior, a 72-48 blowout of St. Dominic’s to open the conference portion of the varisty basketball schedule.
Long before Linsanity took over the Garden, Quinnsanity was around, owning the halls of 155 Jackson Ave. in Mineola for over 40 years.
Quinn would notch between that day and this past Friday, when by virtue of a 70-61 win ended was what everyone had wanted to be the beginning of a storybook ending for Quinn’s final home game and playoff run.
Instead it is another link in the long chain of wounds between the Flyers and Friars and of a job left unfinished for a Chaminade team that had dedicated a season to putting their coach on top of the mountain one last time.
Instead of a cheering section as raucous as a playoff atmosphere should provide, the sullen atmosphere was more of a wake, exacerbated by a 10-2 run by the Friars in the second quarter, with Nigel Carter getting a put-up shot for an alley-oop in the third and a double-double from Dan Pierrot, who put an exclamation mark on the night with a slamdunk with 1:05 left to go.
Ironically it had been a lack of energy that propelled Flyers over St. Anthony’s the last time they met at the Chaminade athletic center and what allowed the Friars to take the first meeting of the teams two weeks before that.
“For way too much of the game there was very little energy, very little intensity and usually that’s what fuels these guys,” St. Anthony’s coach Jim Fenton had said after that , but he could have easily been talking about Chaminade Friday. “Usually they’re much better off when they’re playing just with great energy, great intensity and there was very little of that today until it was too late.”
Too late came the mini-rally for the Flyers, who began to hit their marks with the clock ticking down, silently, relentlessly.
Too late for their hopes, their dreams of making a return to the finals, for themselves and for their coach.
Do not weep for Quinn’s departure. He leaves a legacy more than most in this game.
He is one of the few who can truly be called an institution, having graced the school with his presence even while watching his brother play ball in the 50’s from the stands.
He hasn’t sat down since, as after coming back from Iona to his former school he spent the next 15 years as JV coach until fellow legend Bill Basel took over football and proceeded to stay in the job for the next 25 years.
He leaves with a ton of stories behind him, of how he played against Julius “Dr. J” Erving in college –“He knocked my shot in the third row first play of the game.” – to the 1989 championship still having a special place in his heart as the Flyers hit a shot at the buzzer to win the game against Holy Trinity, to even last year when the rest of the league was just waiting for the inevitable for .
He snuck out of the gym Friday night, out into the cold of the night and the rain, perhaps not wanting to come back to this new gym, maybe to sneak across Sayville to the original House of Noise where he spent so many years for one last look. Before leaving the old spots where he used to wear ruts in the wood. Before heading to Florida and trading his sneakers for a pair of cleats on the golf course. Before it gets to be too much to bear about what he’s meant to this sport in this place.1234F St. Anthony’s11 22 20 1770Chaminade High School12 13 11 2561
Chaminade Scoring StatisticsPlayerPositionFGs3PTsFTsPointsAsstsRebs Jon Patterson Center 13 0 2 28 2 12 John Gallego Guard 5 1 2 15 3 5 Brian Ehrhardt Guard 1 2 1 9 0 0 Mike Walsh Forward 1 1 0 5 0 0 Patrick Farrell Forward 1 0 0 2 1 5 Thomas Ahern Guard 1 0 0 2 3 3
St. Anthony’s Scoring StatisticsPlayerFGs3PTsFTsPointsAsstsRebs Dan Pierrot 5 4 2 24 0 10 Andre Walker 5 2 1 17 6 0 Anfernee Casimir 7 0 0 14 2 4 Nigel Carter 2 1 1 8 2 6 Leland Williams 2 0 1 5 0 0 Jack McArdle 1 0 0 2 0 0