Things are different here.
“It’s different because this is our tournament,” junior Mike Walsh said of the school’s annual Haggerty tournament. “It’s our home court.”
It is the junior’s second time playing in the annual tournament named for the Army lieutenant and Flyer alumnus who perished in 1942.
Walsh, his twin brother Sean and the 11 other members of the varsity squad are too young to remember those first years of the memorial, when it boasted 16 teams instead of the current four, when the finals were held in the Garden in front of 8,000 hardwood fans – the first such high school game ever played on 34th and Eighth – even when it was revived back in 1983.
Things are different now, with the old gymnasium in the main school building being traded in for the new AAC the past 4 years, the larger space diluting the raucous atmosphere that only a bandbox provides.
“We used to have big crowds over there too you know?” Chaminade head coach Jim Quinn said after the Flyers’ 72-42 win over Floral Park propelling them into the , pointing to the old House of Noise across Saville Road.
“When I was playing here, they didn’t have it,” Quinn said of the tournament.
Things were different then.
Twenty-eight years ago Quinn headed up the JV team and saw how former Chaminade athletic director Jack Lenz revived the tournament.
“It was a nice event and we thought it would be a nice idea and we tried it and it worked out very nicely.”
Next year, things will be different when someone else steps into the head coaching job at the Rock; a fact that this being Quinn’s 25th and final tournament not lost on his players.
“(We) just really tried to focus and do this for coach, being his last tournament,” Walsh said.
The mindset between coach and team is supposed to be the same, but forgive them the disparity because of the circumstances, the discrepency between youth and experience.
“Everything in December is to get ready for the league,” Quinn said.
Walsh meanwhile insisted that the aspect of facing the rest of the league when the new year comes is “not on my mind,” notching another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds Tuesday night over the of play.
Combined with 20 points from junior guard Brian Ehrhardt and another 15 from , the Flyers were able to make short work of Floral Park in the first round.
“I think they’re as good as any players on Long Island,” Quinn said of his senior point guard and teammate Patrick Farrell.
Still, Chaminade is not at full strength as 6’6” center John Patterson will have three more practices before joining the team in time for league play.
“He’ll be ready for next week,” Quinn said.
By then, things will be different.1 2 3 4 F Floral Park 10 18 9 10 42 Chaminade High School 20 22 18 12 72
Chaminade Scoring Statistics Player Position FGs 3PTs FTs Points Assts Rebs Brian Ehrhardt Guard 7 2 0 20 2 4 John Gallego Guard 4 2 1 15 4 0 Mike Walsh Forward 3 2 0 12 2 10 Patrick Farrell Forward 2 0 2 6 2 2 Jack Carrigan Forward 1 1 0 5 0 0 Liam Murphy Guard 0 1 2 5 1 1 Justin Winkler Forward 2 0 0 4 2 1 Sean Walsh Guard 1 0 0 2 1 0 Steven Stratford Center 0 0 1 1 0 2