The Flyers (17-5) left nothing to chance in their staggering 77-52 victory over St. John the Baptist Friday afternoon at the .
“We wanted to get one back after Tuesday’s ,” said co-captain Richard Zoller. “That was a heartbreaker.”
Chaminade’s strategy in doing so was simple: apply massive amounts of defensive pressure.
Zoller gave prime examples of this in the first quarter when he picked up three of his four blocks.
Fleet-footed Flyer guards Kevin Sheehy and Matthew Gonyon carried out their defensive deeds for the day by finishing the game with a respective two and three steals.
“Just keep pressuring them!” Flyer Head Coach Jim Quinn yelled at the start of the second, right after a pass inside from Sheehy to forward Luke Colombo put Chaminade up 19-6 and prompted an immediate Cougar timeout.
“We tried to outrun them up and down the court,” Quinn later said, “and it seemed like we had them on their heels a lot.”
The Flyers also out-boarded the Cougars for the majority of the game, no small feat when going up against the height and power of forwards Kyle Williams and Dante Thompson.
Thompson was an offensive threat from all angles, hitting two three-pointers in addition to jumpers and lay-ups for a team-high 16 points. Guard Will Fortune’s shooting ability contributed a modest 10.
Chaminade, for the most part, seemed to play it safe offensively. Proven outside shooter James McCaffrey instead chose to acquire his team-high 16 points via drives and put-backs, although he did sprinkle a couple of jumpers into the mix. Sheehy was money behind the arc with two treys in the third, but his shot attempt frequency was lower than usual and most of his 15 points came from getting his hands dirty under the net.
Unsurprisingly, Zoller did the brunt of his damage on the inside as well. The senior professional-in-the-paint bookended the game with crater-making dunks in the first and fourth quarters. In between, he laced the court with post-ups and put-backs.
“We wanted to start the momentum here and carry it over to ,” Zoller added.
The Flyers suffered a on Gael turf Jan. 28, but this time the meeting will be on Chaminade grounds.
According to Quinn, “we were a little embarrassed last time on their court but hopefully we can rectify that at least with a good showing.”
“You can’t stop Chavaughn,” Zoller said of St. Mary’s star senior Chavaughn Lewis, “but we have to slow him and the rest of the guys down and get them out of their groove.”
Zoller plans on doing just that by utilizing spaciousness of the Athletic Center court.
“Last time we tried to play their game and tried to play too fast,” he said, “but now we will be on our court and we will play our game.”
Chaminade is 8-3 in the NSCHSAA and second place behind the undefeated St. Mary’s Gaels.1 2 3 4 F St. John the Baptist 6 14 19 13 52 Chaminade 17 20 27 13 77 Chaminade Scoring Statistics Player Position FGs 3PTs FTs Points Assts Rebs James McCaffrey Forward 7 0 2 16 0 8 Kevin Sheehy Guard 4 2 1 15 0 0 Richard Zoller Center 7 0 0 14 0 7 Luke Colombo Guard 5 0 0 10 0 8 John Gallego Guard 1 2 0 8 0 0 Christopher Kustera Forward 2 0 1 5 0 0 Matthew Graham Guard 1 0 0 2 0 0 Bryan Beaubrun Forward 1 0 0 2 0 0 Patrick Farrell Forward 1 0 0 2 0 0 Matthew Gonyon Guard 0 0 1 1 0 0