First Place Award for General Excellence, Catholic Press Association, 2013-2016

Stepinac Captures Elusive CHSAA Intersectional Hoops Championship
By DAN PIETRAFESA
Chris Sheridan
Archbishop Stepinac High School senior Alan Griffin dribbles during his team’s 74-65 victory over Christ the King in the CHSAA AA championship game at Fordham University March 11. Griffin, who committed to play at the University of Illinois in the fall, finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Senior Alan Griffin collected 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, leading the Archbishop Stepinac High School boys basketball team to its first CHSAA AA intersectional championship since 1960 with a 74-65 victory over Christ the King at Fordham University March 11.

“This is an unbelievable feeling, not only personally but for the kids, coaching staff and the Stepinac community,” said coach Patrick Massaroni, a Stepinac alumnus.

“A lot of people have waited a long time for this and I am just so excited to be a part of it.”

The Crusaders used a 24-10 third-quarter run to open a 52-40 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.

“I thought our defense improved in the third quarter,” Massaroni said. “We played a little more aggressive, a little more physical and rebounded the ball very well.”

Freshman Adrian Griffin Jr. contributed 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Stepinac (24-5 overall). Senior Xavier Wilson added 13 points and eight rebounds, and sophomore RJ Davis had 12 points and eight assists.

The Crusaders will play Long Island Lutheran in a state federation tournament semifinal in Glens Falls March 23.

Regis boys win CHSAA B state championship — Sophomore Joe Manfredi finished with 23 points as Regis beat Niagara Catholic, 64-59, in overtime at Villa Maria College in Buffalo March 11.

Senior Liam Gallagher and junior William Eastwick each socred 11 points for the Owls, who won the program’s first state title since 2014.

“The toughness, confidence and determination of our student-athletes is what guided us through this season and helped us earn the state championship,” said Regis coach Kevin Cullen in a statement from the school.

Regis will play the state public high school champion in a state federation tournament semifinal in Glens Falls March 23.

Aquinas girls claim CHSAA B state crown — Kira Villegas scored 24 points as Aquinas rolled to a second consecutive state championship with a 69-43 victory over St. Dominic at Fordham University March 10.

Lauren Malcolm and Ronella Kennedy finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively, for the Lady Bears (24-0).

Aquinas will compete in the state federation tournament in Glens Falls March 23-25.

Cardinal Spellman girls win archdiocese title — Cardinal Spellman captured the Archdiocesan Tournament with a 35-27 win over St. John Villa on Staten Island March 3.

Amber Caputo and Shanice Sinclair scored nine points apiece for Spellman, which also received 15 rebounds, four points and four assists from Karina Robinson. Jada Rogers added eight points.

Gianna Kroczynski had a game-high 13 points for St. John Villa. Tiffany Smith contributed eight points.

Spellman represented the archdiocese in the CHSAA AA semifinals where it lost to Christ the King, 60-34. St. John Villa advanced to the CHSAA A state final, losing to Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, 57-38.

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