You don’t just acquire a nickname for sitting around doing nothing. And whatever it happens to be, you don’t get the prefix “big” without having made an impact somewhere or just being unnaturally tall.
Chaminade forward Mike Walsh stands 6’5”, good enough for third tallest on the varsity roster, but there’s another reason the junior has his teammates using the nickname “Big Daddy.”
“He’s our most powerful big man down low, that’s just kinda the feeling he brings,” senior point guard John Gallego said after a 62-57 win this past Tuesday night over , a team comprised primarily of guards.
“What do you do against guards?” Gallego asked. “You get it down to your big man.”
By accounts, Walsh’s classmate Brian Ehrhardt had brought the name in this year, but Walsh says the name stuck during a game against St. Anthony’s his freshman year.
Coming off their in Huntington, Chaminade decided to make a big change, completely revamp their defensive alignment.
“All week we were practicing our third-double teams and kind of like chaos defense,” senior forward Patrick Farrell said, noting how Walsh and guard Andrew Suozzi had been “all over the ball” in doubling. “Ever since our loss against St. Anthony’s the first time we’ve run that kind of defense, every single day at practice.”
Tuesday, he again came up big, completing a coast-to-coast rebound-throw play that drew a foul for an old fashioned 3-point play in the third only to follow it up by nailing down another three from behind the arc in the corner.
“I saw that we had the rebound and I went long,” Walsh said. “He fouled it pretty hard and then he tried to step over me and we don’t take that.”
By his own admission the junior is “not afraid to shoot out there” in the corner, allowing head coach Jim Quinn to use him often in zone.
“Were very productive when the ball comes in, it’s like you’re shooting outside when the ball comes in and right back out,” Walsh said.
The Flyers had held St. Anthony’s hard to start the match, going on a 7-0 run and winding 3:42 off the clock before St. Anthony’s managed to pull within three late in the fourth.
“Our shot selection was poor, we weren’t attacking their zone poorly, there was a big sag in zone, which is smart,” St. Anthony’s coach Jim Fenton said as the Flyers continually forced St. Anthony’s to take shots from behind the arc and rebounded poorly. “You can’t play around and just think it’s going to happen for you. You have to make it happen and we didn’t do that for more than three-quarters of the game and we paid the price.”
The Flyers came away with 23 rebounds and 13 assists, including a pair for Walsh.
“Everyone was” he said when asked if he was just in the right place at the right time.
And had come up big.1 2 3 4 F St. Anthony’s 10 10 7 30 57 Chaminade High School 10 12 19 21 62
Chaminade Scoring Statistics Player Position FGs 3PTs FTs Points Assts Rebs Patrick Farrell Forward 6 1 3 18 3 4 John Patterson Center 8 0 1 17 2 12 Mike Walsh Forward 4 1 3 14 2 2 Brian Ehrhardt Guard 2 2 1 11 1 4 John Gallego Guard 1 0 0 2 5 1
St. Anthony’s Scoring Statistics Player FGs 3PTs FTs Points Dan Pierrot 2 6 0 22 Andre Walker 5 1 3 16 Jahwon Gordon 1 2 0 8 Anfernee Casimir 2 0 0 4 Leland Williams 1 0 2 4 Nigel Carter 0 1 0 3