Don’t tell Bill Harkins that the 2011-12 season is a rebuilding year for St. Mary’s.
“No, it’s not; we expect to win a lot of games,” the boys varsity basketball coach said this past Friday night after his team took a close 71-66 game from the Flyers at the .
“A lot of people say rebuilding when we graduated five seniors and yes they’re all very good players but we got a good team.”
Last year the Gaels were the class of the CHSBL, routinely blowing out opponents on the scoreboard by a 2-1 margin, (9-5, 2-3) in the on their way to capturing the state title against Mount St. Michael.
“We had a good run with those guys,” Harkins said of the five seniors which comprised his starting court. “Five seniors, composure, a really good group.”
This season though the Gaels are 6-2 overall with a 3-2 record in the league, good enough for a third place tie with St. Anthony’s, who came back from 3 points down with 3:30 left to beat St. Mary’s in overtime.
When Harkin’s starters were lost to the college level, he didn’t look to last year’s juniors, instead picking up a trio of freshman, among them Christian Vitale who “showed a lot of poise running the offense” Harkins said and 6’9” Jessie Govan.
St. Mary’s had trailed almost the entire game against Chaminade, but kept nipping at the Flyer’s heels, of 2 points in each of the first two quarters thanks in large part to senior Travis Whitfield who knocked down 13-14 from the line on his way to 30 points as the Gaels constantly took advantage of fouls in the second half.
A trey from Chaminade guard Brian Ehrhardt in the fourth kept the Gaels temporarily at bay until Vitale drained his own from behind the arc to put St. Mary’s ahead and made a breakaway steal from senior pointguard John Gallego with less than 15 seconds left on the clock to put it out of reach for the Flyers.
“This is a good group of basketball players and as we move along, maturity hopefully sets in and will get better,” Harkins said. “That’s what’s going on now, I think. I hope. We’re in most of our games. We’re looking allright; we’re fine.”1234F St. Mary’s14 19 14 2171Chaminade High School16 21 14 1566
Chaminade Scoring StatisticsPlayerPositionFGs3PTsFTsPoints John Patterson Center 6 0 5 17 John Gallego Guard 3 2 2 14 Patrick Farrell Forward 2 3 1 14 Brian Ehrhardt Guard 2 2 0 10 Mike Walsh Forward 3 1 0 9
St. Mary’s Scoring StatisticsPlayerFGs3PTsFTsPointsAsstsRebs Travis Whitfield 4 3 13 30 0 5 Jessie Govan 5 0 4 14 0 11 Stephen Milhaven 2 2 1 11 0 5 Larry Paschel 3 1 1 10 5 0 Christian Vitale 1 1 2 7 0 0