By Matthew Valle ‘21
BRONX- It was cold, it was far, and it was on a Sunday.
All these excuses did not set me back as I took a 45-minute bus ride to watch No. 1 seeded Cardinal Hayes (23-5) face No. 6 seeded Mount St. Michael. (16-11)
To my surprise the Rose Hill Gym was actually packed with Hayes supporters.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth battle. Hayes scores Mount Scores. Hayes throws a turnover Mount throws a turnover.
No team really showed the will to pull away. This game wasn’t going be won with 30-point performances, it was gonna be won with defense.
The first quarter ended with Hayes leading 14-12.
I wonder what Coach Lods said to the team because their energy changed.
The Cardinals were playing solid defense, hustling down the court, getting open looks. It was like they were playing in a close game in the fourth quarter.
They were playing with more confidence in each other. This translated into a comfortable lead for Hayes going into the half.
Hayes would lead 30-22.
Hayes kept their foot on the gas throughout the third. They were totally in control throughout the game. Every little third Mount would do to come back was matched by Hayes.
The eight point lead would stay the same as Hayes led 38-30.
The fourth quarter was all Hayes. The proved they were the better team; there was nothing Mount could do to get back into the game and possibly win.
Basket after basket, Hayes pulled away.
By beating Mount St. Michael 57-42, Hayes will head to the next round.
One player who stood out was All-League MVP and Iowa commit Joe Toussaint ‘19. He would finish with an all-around game of 15 points, six assists and seven rebounds.
Two key factors in this dominant Hayes win would have to be the rebound battle and second chance points.
Hayes would win the rebound battle 40-23 and with second chance points 22-5.
Next up, Archbishop Stepinac.