It was a clash of styles in last night's CHSAA final between Chaminade and Holy Trinity. The Flyers tried to dominate inside with their significant size advantage, and the Titans looked to use their quickness and pressure defense to get out in transition.
In the end, the No. 4 Flyers' size proved to be too much as they won their first title since 2008 with an 85-64 victory over No. 2 Holy Trinity.
"I'm so happy for the kids and that I'm able to be a part of this," first-year coach Bob Paul said. "It's all about them. They did it all themselves with all their hard work. I'm just glad to be a part of it."
Jon Patterson, a 6-6 senior, earned game MVP honors after scoring 27 points. He also had six rebounds and four assists.
"This feels great," Patterson said. "I'm so happy to win the championship with these guys. I love playing on this team."
His frontcourt mate, 6-6 Mike Walsh, had 14 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Chaminade (19-8).
"This is what we dream of," Walsh said. "We worked really hard for this and it's a dream come true."
Liam Murphy had 16 points, Thomas O'Connell 12 points and Brian Ehrhardt eight points and five assists.
Replacing coach Jim Quinn, who won more than 400 games during his tenure, Paul knew he had the tough task of duplicating Quinn's success.
"There is absolutely no replacing a legend like Jim," he said. "But I have eight of his players, so this is a credit to the type of program that Jim built. We used a lot of Jim's philosophy and he definitely shaped my coaching philosophy, but we do some things that are different.
"So it's a credit to the kids to be able to adapt to what I want them to do."
Holy Trinity's trademark pressure defense was rendered ineffective as Ehrhardt, Walsh, Murphy, O'Connell and Thomas Ahern did a great job getting the ball upcourt.
"We would practice with those guys, going six-on-five, seven-on-five or even eight-on-five," Paul said. "They hate it, but that made it easier on them during the game."
The Flyers used a 20-2 run to open a 20-point lead in the second quarter.
"We played great as a team in the second quarter," said Murphy, who scored 10 of his points during the run. "We made the extra pass to find the open man and we just played smart."
They took their largest lead of the game in the fourth quarter at 79-57 on a layup from Patterson.
Damon Coleman, who was announced the league's player of the year Tuesday night, led Holy Trinity (19-7) with 22 points. Isaiah Rowe added 19 points.
Chaminade plays in the state semifinals Saturday at Canisius High School in Buffalo at 1 p.m.
"This team will go as far as they want to," Paul said. "They're starting to believe in how great they are, so we're gonna try our best to keep winning."