Silence, they say, is Golden.
If there was any sort of trophy for being able to take the air out of a high school gymnasium this year, Friday afternoon’s contest between Chaminade and Lawrence would certainly be in top contention.
Ruining another team’s undefeated record is just an added bonus.
“They get silent after he makes one,” Flyer forward said of his teammate John Gallego. “Then you just hope for the best. It’s hard on him but he’s a great free-throw shooter and he loves to do it.”
The senior point guard would go 5-for-6 at the line, making his final pair with five seconds left in the game and pushing Chaminade to a 74-72 win over the Golden Tornadoes in non-league play.
“They said ‘step up and make free throws’,” said Chaminade assistant coach Dan Feeney, who was filling in for head coach Jim Quinn that game. “It’s stuff that we work on every day, but the game’s the only way you can get better. You continue working on it in practice but when you step on the floor in a game, it’s not the same.”
Not that Walsh was any novice to the raucous Lawrence crowds.
“I like to focus on what it’s going to be like after I make it,” the 6’5” junior said, nailing four of his six freethrows.
“With coach not here, we really wanted this win for him,” he said.
Combined with Gallego’s efforts, it was enough to keep the Flyers ahead after Lawrence had rattled off runs of 11-2 and 12-0 in the third that saw a 19-point halftime deficit which was built on nine fieldgoals in the first half – six in the first quarter alone – nearly erased.
“It makes my job easier knowing that we’ve got shooters in the wings, we’ve got big men who can finish so I just try to facilitate them,” Gallego said.
“We were looking for the open shots and the good shots,” Walsh said. “We had a big lead that we lost but we were able to pull it out. I think that (the crowd noise) was a pretty big factor but it’s also a factor when you shut them up.”
Dealing most of the damage were Lawrence guards Eddie Robinson and Dwayne Daniel, who put up 17 and 28 points, respectively in the Golden Tornadoes’ first loss of the season.
“We put an emphasis in practice that we had to stop their two guards,” Gallego said. “Those are the playmakers they go to and we tried stopping them and that’s how we won. They’re athletic, they’ve got good guard-play.”1 2 3 4 F Chaminade High School
27 21 8 18 74 Lawrence 16 13 18 25 72
Chaminade Scoring Statistics Player Position FGs 3PTs FTs Points John Gallego Guard 5 1 5 18 Mike Walsh Forward 2 3 4 17 Patrick Farrell Forward 3 2 1 13 Brian Ehrhardt Guard 2 2 1 11 Thomas Ahern Guard 1 2 0 8 Jack Carrigan Guard 0 1 0 3 Timothy O’Brien Guard 1 0 0 2 Liam Murphy Guard 1 0 0 2