A packed house clad in pajamas offered a surreal backdrop for one of the more dreamy performances ever turned in by a boys basketball team against rival .
It was Pajama Night, so it was only fitting the Friars romped to a 73-49 win Friday night before a capacity crowd of 1,400 in South Huntington. The outcome was all the more stunning because the Flyers played in the league title game a year ago while St. Anthony’s finished 10-12.
St. Anthony’s, off to a 6-6 start, earned its first Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA win after road losses to Kellenberg and Holy Trinity. Credit aggressive guard play and man-to-man defense, which accounted for a season-high 17 steals.
“Very quick hands,” St. Anthony's Coach Jim Fenton said. “The guards have very good instincts.”
The Friars turned a 12-10 edge into a 36-20 lead on Dan Pierrot’s three-pointer just before intermission. It was fuelled by relentless defense, which turned Chaminade turnovers into transition buckets.
Pierrot, a senior from Farmingville, was on the receiving end. He finished with a game-best 25 points and 5 rebounds.
But it was guard Andre Walker (10 points, 7 steals, 5 rebounds and 5 assists) who seemed to be everywhere on the court. Leland Williams added 14 points, 5 boards and 3 steals coming off the bench.
“We just turned the ball over too many times,” said Chamimnade Coach Jim Quinn, who announced he will retire at season’s end after 25 years at the helm.
When the teams met on , Chaminade also trailed at the half only to roar back and win. Not this time. St. Anthony’s opened with a 14-7 run, highlighted by Williams’ putback to make it 50-29 midway through the third.
“A lot of the kids in the school were talking about how we lost last year,” Pierrot said. “They reminded us. It gave us extra motivation to come out here and win the game for ourselves and the crowd.”
Brian Ehrhardt led Chaminade (8-5 overall, 1-2 CHSAA) with 15 points while Mike Walsh added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The teams face off again Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. in Mineola.
For the Friars, the win was a confidence boost. Fenton started three sophomores against the Flyers. But the Friars must keep making progress.
St. Anthony’s Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Chaminade is home against Holy Trinity Tuesday at 4 p.m.
“Now we can go into the next game knowing we can compete in this league,” Pierrot said. “We have a lot of young players. This wins proves to us that we can go out and win.”
Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA Boys Basketball
Teams....................1.....2.....3.....4 – F
Chaminade...........10...12...19.....8 – 49
St. Anthony’s........17...19...21...16 – 73
C: Ehrhardt 5-2-15, Farrell 5-1-11, Patterson 2-3-7, Walsh 5-2-12, Winkler 0-3-3, Suozzi 0-1-1. Totals: 16-12-49. SA: Walker 3-3-10, Casimir 4-0-10, Carter 3-0-8, Teape 1-1-3, Pierrot 11-0-25, Williams 6-2-14, Custance 1-1-3. Totals: 29-7-73. Three-pointers – C: 3 (Ehrhardt 3); SA: 8 (Pierrot 3, Casimir 2, Carter 2, Walker).
Coming Monday: Pajama Night photos. Oh yeah!