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March 17, 2008

Clock Strikes Twelve on Chaminade

It was a dream come true for the Cinderella team from Mineola, NY. The NYCHoops (Long Island) #3 ranked Chaminade Flyers were beating the odds. First, they destroyed the #10 ranked St. Dominic Bayhawks, a Class AA team, that were simply not supposed to beat. Now as NSCHSAA Class A champs they faced St. Joseph's out of Buffalo and beat them as well. Now there was one more obstacle in the way of this fairytale to play itself out. They had to beat the Bishop Ford Falcons for the right to go to the Federation Tournament in Glen Falls, NY where they would have faced the Independent Leagues Long Island Lutheran.

The Falcons, unfortunately missed the "dream come true" memo as they had dreams of their own. The team from Brooklyn, NY led by the Hofstra-bound point guard Chaz Williams is a typical city squad that plays a fast-paced run n' gun style of basketball A style that is diametrically opposed to the Flyers style of play which is more of a set offense type of team that basically passes the ball, sets screens and hits the open man for three ball.

The keys to victory in any sport, however, is to play your style of basketball. A key point that the Flyers would not adhere to and which would inevitably cost them the game and the dream as Bishop Ford would go on to win 72 - 62.

Fordham University was filled with excited fans from both teams as play got underway on Sunday. Chaz Williams would be the engine that charged the Bishop Ford Falcons. The 5'8" junior is a high-speed dynamo that Chaminade would spend all night trying to contain.

In a game that Chaminade never led in, the Flyers were simply playing catch-up all day long, which forced them out of their methodical offensive sets. Bright spots did come in the way of big shot coming from 6'4" junior guard Dan DiVietri in the first half which kept the Flyer within range but at the end of the first half Chaminade found themselves down by 31 - 21.

6'9" senior center Jermaine Braumulle and 6'5" senior forward Tyrik Tucker would give Chaminade fits on the defensive glass forcing the Flyers to give up points in transition. At the end of the third quarter, Williams would punctuate the Falcon dominance by going coast-to-coast and stopping on a dime to nail a mid-range jumper at the buzzer to put Ford up by 14.


To start the fourth desperation set in and the Flyers began to get physical however, they also got careless evidenced by 3 misses on one occasion right under their basket. 6'2" junior forward Chris Dooley would pick up his third foul as the Flyers tried in vain to cut into the lead, which was at 13 points with 5:48 left in regulation.

6'5" junior forward Sean Wildes would go hard but the Falcons defense was formidable and on offense, Williams could not be contained even with double teams.

Wildes would however manage to claw his way to score and the score was 52 - 41 with 4:12. As play got even more physical Falcon's 6'7" junior center Dylan Henry would miss an important foul shot, which resulted in another score by Sean Wildes as Flyer momentum was swelling senior guard Mathew Johnson would pick up a foul and a tech, which pushed the lead to back to 13.

With 2 minutes left Chaminade's last hope rested with committing fouls and hoping for misses followed by netting three. Definitely a realistic option given the Cinderella-esque journey thus far.

DiVietri and Wildes would hit critical free throws but the Falcons would still be ahead by double digits.

Wildes would swish a 3-ball to bring Flyers to within 10 with 1:57 left. He would then score a quick basket off a turnover to bring them to within 8. Tyrik Tucker would be fouled but would miss one from the charity stripe and Wildes would score again but this time Williams would counter, breaking the press and scoring with seemingly with ease.

Wildes would score yet again to bring Chaminade within 7 but then commits his fourth foul on senior guard Don Marbury who would hit both free throws.

Williams would inadvertently commit his third foul on sophomore guard Dan Vanderhoef, who was in due to Flyer foul woes. Vanderhoef would miss the free-throw but DiVietri would alertly score a quick three off a defensive rebound and subsequent assist by Wildes.

Chaminade is down by 6 but with only 27 seconds left. Marbury would get fouled once again and would once again hit both free-throw. On the inbound, however, to make matters worse Vanderhoef would step out of bounds turning the ball back over to the Falcon.

With 9 second left and down by 10 points it was time to unplug life support on the Chaminade dream, as the buzzer would sound.

Williams would lead all scores with 32 points followed by junior forward Collin Nurse with 10 points. Sean Wildes would lead Chaminade in the scoring department with 28 points with Dan DiVietri contributing 13 points.

Next up for the Falcons is a trip to Glen Falls where they will play L.I. Lutheran in the semifinals, which will be on March 28th, and 6pm EST.

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