Trinity-Crosby Once Again
By Sam and Tyler / March 13, 2008, 10:26 pm
NEW HAVEN- The Trinity Catholic Crusaders finally find themselves in a spot they have seen before. The team from Stamford will face the Crosby Bulldogs of Waterbury in the class LL championship game. The two teams met in both the 2004 and 2005 finals with Trinity winning the first matchup and Crosby exacting revenge in the second. The stars may have changed, Trinity no longer has Dave McClure or Craig Austrie and Crosby is without Julian Allen or Damien Saunders, however, the passion within each club still burn for victory. The stars have changed, Trinity led by Tevin Baskin and Eric Jean-Guillauime, Crosby directed by BJ Monteiro and Anthony Ireland. The stage is set, the competition fierce, and the game likely a classic.
Of course, to get to this point Trinity had to win a semifinal game that pitted them against the powerhouse #1 seed, Windsor Warriors. The contest was well coached, and officiated, allowing the players to decide the outcome on the court. Despite the high stakes involved, the players exhibited good sportsmanship, differing from the trash talk ridden quarterfinal matchup between Trinity and Notre Dame-West Haven.
The score after one quarter of play stood at 15-13 in Trinity’s favor with Jean-Guillauime hitting a shot at the buzzer to give the Crusaders momentum going into the second period. After several early turnovers, Trinity began to break the intense pressure of Windsor. When trinity was able to play the game in the half court setting, it was much easier for them to break apart the Windsor defense, finding point.
Score @ half 30-25 TC.
Baskin = 0 pts (off his game), TC continues to break Windsor press. At halftime, Trinity still held the lead at 30-25 but Windsor came out quickly in the third quarter scoring in bunches stretching the lead to 39-32 with 2:06 remaining in the period. Trinity however clawed back, pulling to within two by the quarter’s end with the score at 42-20. If you were a Windsor fan, you had to be wondering how you dominated the third quarter, yet only led by 2 going into the all important final period.
Tevin Baskin opened the quarter with a put back to tie the score at 42. In a quarter where every bucket was crucial, Windsor’s Adrian Satchell hit a baseline jumper to give his team a 46-44 lead with 3 minutes to go. Trinity’s John O’Leary, arguable the most underrated player in the state, hit a 3 to give Trinity the lead for good. The Crusaders were up 50-46 with 1:55 to go when a Windsor basket made it 50-48. After a Trinity turnover, Windsor looked to tie this game up and keep the pressure on. Tevin Baskin rose high to reject an Adrian Satchell shot and his block led to an Eric Jean-Guillauime lay up to put Trinity up 52-48. Another Jean-Guillaumime lay in forced Windsor to panic and, as time ticked down, Tevin Baskin got open for a break away lay-in that ended this game. Windsor tossed in a lay-up as time expired and the Crusaders danced their way off the court and into the class LL state championship game.
Despite a poor offensive night, Tevin Baskin was proud of the way his team played.
“This means a lot. This was probably my worst offensive night in my four years here and for us to win and get to this state title means a lot,” said Baskin.
Windsor frustration in the state tournament continues. After an undefeated regular season, the Warriors fell in the CCC tournament championship game and most recently the LL semi-finals. Meeting Trinity in the game Saturday night will be Crosby, who last played Trinity in the 2005 state championship game, defeating the Crusaders.
Eric Jean-Guillauime stepped up tonight, limiting his turnovers and breaking pressure, often times single-handedly. When asked to talk about what this win means, Guillauime smiled. “From day one, I told the seniors we were getting to Gampel and getting that ring.”
“We just gotta play tough, move forward and restore this program,” said Guillauime, referring to the school’s rich history of success.
Saturday’s state title game will be one of the more anticipated in state history. With intriguing matchups everywhere, this game will feature the state’s top two teams and will likely be one of the best in recent memory.