Semifinals: No. 1 Holy Cross Seniors 21, No. 4 The Drones 17
Despite a spirited performance from The Drones, the three-time defending champion Holy Cross Seniors headed back to the finals once more, defeating the fourth seed Friday, 21-17.
The Seniors received an offensive outburst from senior Alajuwon Edwards, who poured in 11 of the team’s 21 points.
“I just wanted to be aggressive and try to put points on the board, and my team trusts me, so I put the ball through the hoop,” Edwards said.
The Seniors also received several big buckets from senior captain Zoe Bauer, who gave the team a jolt whenever it fell flat. Right before half time, he caught fire from deep and hit three long shots in a few minutes to send the Seniors into the halftime break up 11-7. He also iced the game with a long shot from 3-point range just as The Drones were starting to gain a bit of momentum.
The game shifted dramatically early in the first half after an injury forced on of The Drones’ players from the game. After a brief medical stoppage, it was declared the player would not be able to continue, and, in the interest of fairness, the Seniors decided to remove a man from the court to play four-on-four.
“When we went four-on-four, we really tried to attack the paint more, because there’s one less defender, and they can’t crowd the paint,” Edwards said.
Edwards in particular took advantage of the less crowded court, as he cut to the basket again and again. However, his shot was fallin,g too, and he made many midrange jumpers that hurt The Drones.
Defensively, the Seniors started out in a zone but moved to a man-to-man defense when The Drones started hitting perimeter shots.
“We wanted to start off in the zone and then eventually go man, but we really just wanted to pressure the ball and get stops and get out in transition,” Edwards said.
Semifinals: No. 2 Finnigan’s 26, No. 3 Boil a Cardinal Sagehen into an Irish Cavalier 24
For a while, it seemed like the semifinal between Finnigan’s and Boil a Cardinal Sagehen into an Irish Cavalier would not end.
After Finnigan’s started the game by building a 10-3 lead, Cardinal Sagehen scored seven straight, tying the game up before Finnigan’s pulled back ahead at halftime, 11-10.
Much of the second half was back-and-forth, but Cardinal Sagehen had several chances to win the game toward the end. Finnigan’s relied on its defense to get stops, and the game reached a 21-21 tie, forcing extra action.
“We’re big defensively,” Finnigan’s sophomore Connor Colpoys said. “[Cardinal Sagehen is] really good on offense. They share the ball really well. We made a couple of adjustments with the ball screens, and they missed some shots, so that helped us down the stretch. It was just a war. We just tried to climb back in possession by possession and get stops.”
After the game was extended, Cardinal Sagehen had a few more chances to win the game but could not convert.
Finnigan’s finally won the game, 26-24, on a free throw.
Finnigan’s had a decisive height advantage and focused on feeding its frontcourt en route to the win.
“[Our size] helps a lot out here especially,” Colpoys said. “It’s tough outside when a little bit of wind can throw your jumper off. The height helps both on defense because we can get up and pressure and on offense because we can feed down low and get doubles, which opens us up for driving lanes and jump shots.”