Robert Connors #15 of Chaminade dribbles downcourt during a CHSAA...

Robert Connors #15 of Chaminade dribbles downcourt during a CHSAA varsity boys basketball game against Holy Trinity at Chaminade High School in Mineola on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Chaminade won by a score of 79-61. Credit: James Escher

The Chaminade boys basketball team couldn’t have asked for a better start in its CHSAA showdown against Holy Trinity Friday night.

The Flyers hit their first seven shots from the field, and converted 10 of their first 13 attempts of the game in a 79-61 home victory. Chaminade, which opened a 25-3 lead after the opening six minutes, clinched the top playoff seed with the win.

“Obviously we had a tremendous first quarter and first half and we were feeling it,” said senior Bobby Connors, of Rockville Centre, who had 20 points. “But we tried not to get ahead of ourselves and it was good that we were able to stay in the lead from there.”

The Flyers (10-1) turned their early run into a 29-11 lead after the first quarter and a 45-17 advantage at halftime.

“It’s amazing because it feels like no one can stop us,” said sophomore Michael O’Connell, of Mineola, who led all scorers with 26 points. “Everyone’s playing well, playing great defense, it feels great.”

But Holy Trinity (9-2) didn’t make anything easy for Chaminade in the second half. The Titans scored the first 11 points of the third quarter and cut Chaminade’s lead to 54-39 after the period.

The Flyers had their answer as Connors connected on his first three shots of the fourth quarter — including two from beyond the arc — to squash the comeback attempt.

“He’s made some shots in his career that have been important shots and he’s not afraid to take them,” Chaminade coach Bob Paul said. “Statistically, he’s our best three-point shooter on the year, so that’s a good shot for him.”

Connors scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and O’Connell added 11 in the final frame. Brendan McGuire added 10 points and 10 assists, TJ Long had 13 points and Liam Drennan had 10 points in the win.

Tyler Small led Holy Trinity with 24 points and Mike Sixsmith added 15 points, including 11 in the Titans’ 22-9 third quarter.

Chaminade, the defending CHSAA champion, hopes to build off Friday night’s win toward another potential deep postseason run.

“It’s huge going in as the first-place team,” Connors said. “We have great confidence and hopefully we can keep it going.”

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