Showing up late worked out for Clive Allen the second time at least.
The Cardinal Hayes star guard and teammate Pedro Marquez sat the first four minutes of the first quarter because he was tardy for school earlier in the week. The pair raced to the scorer’s table when it was finally time to check in, but it took Allen the rest of the half to find his game and led his team to their second CHSAA Archdiocesan title in three years.
“I came in with the mind set of just coming in and playing hard, so I guess I was a little bit too hyper,“ Allen said. “So I just showed down and played with my team.”
A more composed Allen scored 18 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to power the top-seeded Cardinals to a 60-53 victory over rival and second-seeded Cardinal Hayes at Mount St. Michael on Feb. 27. Allen’s teammates have total confidence he will always get it going eventually.
“We just know he is going to click sometime,” senior forward Quran Brickhouse said. “He clicked today in the second half.”
Hayes earns a bye into the intersectional quarterfinals and beat the Ravens for the third time this season. It avenges a loss to them in last year’s diocesan semifinals. Even without Allen on the court, the Cardinals jumped out to an important 17-6 lead in the first quarter.
“People always tell me you can’t beat a team three times,” Hayes coach Joe Lods said. “I tell my guys if we get up on them, they are going to have that little bit of doubt in their mind. Can we beat them?”
The Ravens (16-11) rallied back quickly and were leading 44-41 with 7:14 to play in the game after a 3-pointer from Isaiah Washington. It was the last field goal for St. Ray’s over the next 6:00 of play. Hayes (19-7) took advantage with a 13-3 run to grab a 54-47 advantage with 1:12 go in the contest.
The Cardinals were able to make the defensive stand thanks to the play of Brickhouse, who also scored 11 points. He forced three key stops in the final 2:30 of the game to seal the win.
Brickhouse took a key charge on Sidney Wilson, blocked a transition layup by Terrence Trice and swatted away a three-point attempt by Omar Silverio with 25.6 left and Hayes up 56-51. Lods called him the best defensive player he has ever coached.
“I got to do everything I got to do to help the team out,” Brickhouse said. “Big blocks. That’s my role on the team. It’s defense.”
Baron Goodridge scored 17 points for Cardinal Hayes and Wilson led the Ravens with 16. Washington, who battled foul trouble, had 13 points and Brian Adams chipped in 10.
St. Raymond was the favorite to win the crown in the preseason, but the young Cardinals gradually put things together and are playing their best basketball when it matters most. Hayes has won 11 straight CHSAA games.
“All the young kids started getting a lot of confidence,” Allen said. “We just started playing hard, playing as a team and we just went on a roll after that.”
Monsignor Scanlan 68, Fordham Prep 53: Saquan Singleton scored 18 points to help the Crusaders rally from an seven-point halftime deficit in the CHSAA Class A quarterfinals. Jordan McAllister tallied 15 points and George Pena added 14. Jordan Gaitley paced Fordham Prep with 16 points. Patrick Mahoney had 13 and Jack Maghak chipped in 11.