When you have a dynamic duo, it’s safe to say you can be dangerous when the game is on the line.
|Marquise Moore, Anthony Libroia, Will Davis & Mairega Clarke|
But what if you don’t have two offensive juggernauts? The Holy Cross Knights proved that’s just fine, as long as you have balance.
That balance came in the form of a team effort that toppled Xaverian and their potent back court of Dillon Burns and Brian Bernardi in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan semi-finals, 63-55.
When Marquise Moore wasn’t shooting a near flawless 10-11 from the charity stripe, all-purpose foward/guard Mareiga Clarke was getting a piece of the Clippers’ interior shots, cleaning up around the hoop and exploiting Xaverian’s lack of a persistent post presence.
When Will Davis wasn’t drilling from outside and making a perfect 6-6 appearance from the line, Edward Roscigno and Anthony Liboria were nailing threes and exhibiting patience on offense to help Holy Cross pull ahead in a see-saw game. But Burns made things difficult for the Knights.
Perhaps the most underrated point guard in the city, Burns set things off and put his fingerprints on Xaverian’s first ten points. A pair of assists to Geroge Lambert (7 points) and a scoop shot and three pointer of his own got him accolades from the spectators at St. Francis Prep. Soon after, the Clippers fell behind, only to fight back behind a burst of offense from a previously quiet Bernardi. Xaverian got some inside buckets from Andrew Petric, but the lion’s share of their push came from the 5’7″ Burns.
Bernardi would momentarily go quiet, only to re-emerge in the fourth quarter with some potent perimeter shooting to assist Burns, who was still firing on all cylinders. But it wasn’t enough. The Knights entire starting five put points on the board in the final eight minutes, while the dynamic duo was left to do it alone.
Moore’s trey with 51 seconds left to play was the final nail in the coffin – it put the Knights up, 57-50, and stamped their ticket to the finals, where they’ll face off against Bishop Loughlin, an equally balanced unit.
Moore’s 21 points led Holy Cross, but scoring was distributed evenly throughout the starting five: Davis and Clarke recorded 12 points apiece, while Roscigno added 11 and Liboria, 7.
Burns paced Xaverian with 20 points, while Bernardi chipped in with 12.