Bigs business was booming Sunday for Chaminade.
Its tandem of 6-6 power players Mike Walsh and Jon Patterson were too much for St. Mary's 6-9 Jesse Govan as the No. 4 Flyers surprised the top-seeded Gaels, 72-58, in a CHSAA boys basketball semifinal at LIU Post.
"We know how good Jesse is," Walsh said. "So whichever guy he had, we looked for the other guy. We thought the one-two punch of me and Jon would work."
Though talented sophomore Govan managed 17 points and a handful of blocks, he couldn't be in two places at once. So Patterson (19 points) and Walsh (14) tormented St. Mary's with layups and sharp interior passes that often went from one big man to the other.
"We're friends on and off the court. We've played together for a while," Patterson said of Walsh. "We know where the other one is; we know each other's game. We worked together to get good looks down low."
Not right away. Govan and Devonte Green (17 points) sparked a 10-0 first-quarter run that gave St. Mary's (16-8) a 16-10 lead. The Gaels led 20-16 after one and 36-34 at halftime. But after the break, the Flyers demonstrated that two bigs are better than one.
Walsh scored six straight points in the third quarter to give Chaminade a 40-39 lead. Though the game was tied twice more, St. Mary's never went back ahead and Govan never completely dominated the paint.
"Our plan was to get him away from the basket," first-year Chaminade coach Bob Paul said. "Jon and Mike have a great on-court relationship. They make a living off each other."
Whichever player Govan defended would set up in the high post, opening up the low blocks for the other big man. Chaminade (18-8) broke the game open with a 24-point fourth quarter that included perimeter help from reserves Brian Ehrhardt (11 points) and Tom O'Connell (nine), and starting guard Liam Murphy (14 points, including 6-for-6 in free throws late).
St. Mary's cut its deficit to 57-55 with 4:22 left on a driving layup by Patrick Jackson (18 points), but Ehrhardt drained a three-pointer right in front of the Chaminade bench and scored on a baseline drive before a breakaway bucket by Murphy off an outlet pass by Walsh. Every Flyer was feeling it.
"We're a patient team and an experienced team," Walsh said. "We keep the ball moving and whoever is open gets the shot."
Chaminade will try to win the CHSAA championship Tuesday when it faces No. 2 Holy Trinity at 7:30 p.m. at Hofstra. "That's our main goal," Patterson said.