A family affair: Bloomer, McAdoo lead Hayes over Ford
By Dylan Butler
Bishop Ford’s 3-2 zone had lulled Car-dinal Hayes to sleep and the Cardinals’ comfy 13-point halftime lead was reduced to just two after Matt Hall’s 3-point play to open the fourth quarter. Hayes needed a response and Nay-Quan Bloomer was looking for redemption.
“I came into this game motivated,” Bloomer said. “I didn’t play good [vs. Fordham Prep], I was a little off and my teammates just motivated me to come out and play hard.”
The senior guard buried a clutch 3-pointer, followed by a 14-footer, taking the wind out of Ford’s sails and leading Car-dinal Hayes to a 67-57 victory in the CHSAA Class A intersectional quarterfi-nals Saturday afternoon at Mount St. Michael.
“Nay-Quan bailed us out,” Hayes coach Joe Lods said. “We said to Nay-Quan this is why you’re the captain. You’ve got to step up and get us a win here.”
Cardinal Hayes (19-7) will face St. Jo-seph by the Sea, which shocked host Mount St. Michael in the first of two mas-sive upsets Saturday, in the semifinals Tuesday at Cardinal Spellman.
“We can’t take them easy because they just beat a good team,” Bloomer said of Sea. “We’ve just got to fight and come in with the same energy we did with Bishop Ford.”
Bryant McAdoo has been an enigma for the Cardinals this year. Blessed with tremendous size and athleticism, he is a 6-foot-5 senior who is also a wide receiver on the Hayes football team, one who will play at Stony Brook next year. But he frustrates his coaches with his inconsis-tency.
“McAdoo has been a mystery for me,” Lods said. “But the one good thing about him is that he is the emotional leader and the kids feed off of him.”
Against Ford, McAdoo did more than inspire with his words. The forward scored 16 points in one of his better per-formances of the season.
“He’s had better games,” Bloomer said. “But this was important.”
Bloomer speaks from experience. He said McAdoo is his “big cousin,” and has always served as a source of inspiration.
“He always motivated me and every-one around us,” Bloomer said. “We just feed off his energy.”
McAdoo’s energy at the start of the fourth quarter was similar to his message at the end of regulation in the second round against Fordham Prep.
“We came with that mindset that we weren’t going to lose in the fourth quar-ter,” he said.
Led by Hall, who scored a game-high 25 points, Bishop Ford (18-7) twice cut its deficit to three late in the fourth quarter. But Bloomer and Davon Sylvester (13 points) came up with the response each time.
“In a game like this, it’s like I’ve al-ways known, it’s about good players hit-ting big shots and that’s what he did,” Ford coach John Infortunio said of Bloomer. “It’s the timing of it that kills you.”
With Mount St. Michael and defending champion Iona Prep, which was upset by Xavier in the final game quarterfinal game, both knocked out Saturday, the Class A tournament is now wide open. Hayes, which won the title in 2007, has as good a shot as any team.
Even better, according to McAdoo.
“If we keep playing hard and playing with emotion, we’re not losing,” McAdoo said. “There’s no way we’re going to lose. I put that on my life.”