It is at times like these that you realize that this is just one game; that despite the hype and hubris it is best not to invest everything into one single night.
Sure it is nice to win your own tournament – expected and nigh preordained even. But it is best to remember what the Haggerty is when it comes to ’s season: a nice diversion marking the mid-way point, the demarcation between the non-league and league opponents – with the emphasis on the latter – the equivalent of an all-star game in Vegas with the deck stacked in favor of the house.
“Everything in December is to get ready for the league,” Flyers head coach Jim Quinn is .
That is not to say that the tournament is not important, nor deemphasize what weight has been placed upon it by those on the home team – being their coach’s final season – or the .
It was reflected by the way senior point guard John Gallego walked off Wednesday night with the smaller trophy after Manhasset’s 51-48 victory after just moments before hitting a trey to bring the Flyers within one of tying, one of three times his syllabified name would be blasted through the AAC sound system for the feat.
It was given new life by forward Patrick Farrell nailing a layup and drawing a foul for the three-point play to spark a run, breathing enough life into the 200-plus in the stands that it started to sound like the old House of Noise, if even a shadow for a fleeting moment.
“I thought we’d hit some shots that we’d hadn’t been hitting all night after that,” Farrell would later say. “Sometimes shots don’t fall.”
And it was declared for dead on a foul called on Mike Walsh, a whistle that had been blowing early and often – five alone in the first quarter – to the Indians’ favor.
“We just didn’t shoot well,” Quinn said. “Sometimes a simple game, we just didn’t shoot well.”
Chaminade’s main focus had been on 6’1” forward Allesandro Troia and guard Danny Merkola, ignoring Mikey Graham, the tournament MVP who had 15 points and two steals.
“He just got open on backdoor cuts and stuff,” Farrell said. “We’ve got to focus on playing defense.”
Somewhere outside of the AAC along Saville Road a small reminder comes from the darkness. A reminder that there are still games left to play and of the bigger prize of the playoffs.
The second half awaits.1 2 3 4 F Manhasset 13 13 9 16 51 Chaminade High School 10 8 13 17 48
Chaminade Scoring Statistics Player Position FGs 3PTs FTs Points Assts Rebs Patrick Farrell Forward 9 0 1 19 0 11 John Gallego Guard 3 3 0 17 4 3 Liam Murphy Guard 2 1 0 7 0 1 Mike Walsh Forward 2 0 0 4 1 7 Brian Ehrhardt Guard 0 1 0 3 3 0
Manhasset Scoring Statistics Player Position FGs 3PTs FTs Points Assts Rebs Mikey Graham Forward 7 0 1 15 1 9 Danny Merola Guard 1 3 1 12 2 4 Allessandro Troia Guard/ Forward 2 0 5 9 2 8 James Clarke Forward 3 0 0 6 1 4 Dan Connolly Guard 1 1 0 5 5 2 Kade Kenlon Forward 2 0 0 4 0 1