Cardinal Hayes coach Joe Lods wants his team to play and compete against the best teams in the city. He’d much rather that then a cupcake win.
The Cardinals got all it was looking for except a victory when their comeback fell just short in a 55-52 loss to Abraham Lincoln in the Big Apple Invitational at Baruch College on Monday afternoon.
“We want to play the best players,” Lods said. “I want to put our guys against the best talent we possibly can and try to earn a hard fought worthwhile victory. We want to play one of the best teams, Lincoln is one of the best teams and I thought we gave them a good fight today.”
Lincoln showed their depth and young talent in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Freshmen Paul Person and Tyler Bourne led an 8-0 run to put the Railsplitters ahead 40-31 with 5:11 left in the game. Hayes kept the Lincoln lead to single digits until Person, who had 11 of his game high 14 points in the fourth quarter, made a layup to make it 48-38 with 1:38 left. Junior wing Jahlil Tripp scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half for Lincoln. TLods said the Railsplitters freshmen played well beyond their years.
“Those guys did a good job of just staying under control,” he said. “They looked like a pretty seasoned back court.”
Hayes () came back after Person’s basket. Clive Allen made a three and Stephen Arowosegbe made a layup to cut the led to 48-43. Following a Lincoln free throw, Allen made two of three at the line to make it 49-45. Allen, who had 10 points, was disappointed the team didn’t play as well as they did in the final minute the whole game.
“I think we need to have the same energy in the first half that we had in the second half,” he said.
Baron Goodridge, who had a team-high 13 points, hit a three as time expired to make it 55-52. It was too little, too late against Lincoln. The Railsplitters zone defense hurt the Cardinals in the second half and maximized their size advantage in the paint. Hayes shot just 3 of 12 from behind the arc.
“They went into a zone and that messed us up and we aren’t good with a zone,” said forward Jeff Hayden, who had 12 points.
Hayes played without starting center A.K. Ojo (knee) and became further short handed just three minutes into the fourth quarter when senior Kashif Davis, who finished with 13 points, fouled out of the game. Davis was a major presence in the paint on both ends of the floor when he was in the game.
“Kashif played a great game,” Lods said. “It was probably his best game of the year. I don’t think the game hinged on him fouling out. “
The Cardinals, who are tied for first in the CHSAA, took a top PSAL team to the wire the pleased their coach.
“I was encouraged,” Lods said. “We aren’t going to lay down against any team. We cut it down to three. We were in position to win the game. They played better than us down the stretch.”