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Eugene provides spark for Holy Trinity as state title game awaits

Holy Trinity's Bradley Eugene scores two points as

Holy Trinity's Bradley Eugene scores two points as he is defended Buffalo Nichols' Cameron Lewis in the CHSAA state semifinal game against Buffalo Nichols on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Kellenberg. Credit: Bob Mitchell

You knew Jimmy Golaszewski would average nearly 15 points for Holy Trinity this season.

You thought it was likely Peter Alkins, Jack Sixsmith, Mike Farella and Brandon Thomson would all score in double figures for the Titans, too.

And you were also banking on Bradley Eugene crashing the boards, doing all the dirty work and playing a key role in Holy Trinity's run to the boys basketball state final, right?

Wait, who is Bradley Eugene?

He's the only guy on the court who likely won't be attempting any three-pointers for Holy Trinity when it plays Xavier in the Class A CHSAA state final at 4 p.m. Saturday at Fordham University. Eugene will be the guy coming off the bench early in the game and likely making an instant impact by rebounding and altering shots. He provides a needed presence in the paint on both ends of the floor for Holy Trinity, which relies heavily on its shooting prowess and gritty half-court defense.

"This is a guy who barely played for us last year," coach Joe Conefry said. "But early in the season, the guys selected him as a captain. That shows what he means to this team and how hard he works."

Holy Trinity (22-6) has played with a serious height disadvantage all season. At about 6-2, Eugene, a senior, is a center on a team that starts five guards. Actually, he is the center.

"Bradley has come off the bench and has provided such a positive influence for us," Conefry said. "He's not the biggest guy, we don't have many big guys, but he's long and athletic."

Holy Trinity has not won a state title in boys basketball since 1980. To end the drought, Holy Trinity will need its shooters to produce offensively and its defense to force turnovers, utilizing a full-court press. Eugene could provide another element, much like he did in the Titans' 66-55 win against Buffalo Nichols in a state semifinal last week. He scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds off the bench.

"It's . . . I don't know," Eugene said after that game. "I don't have words for it. It's been amazing."

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