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Genesis of a champ: St. Mary's beats Canisius

St. Mary's senior Chavaughn Lewis, right, looks to

St. Mary's senior Chavaughn Lewis, right, looks to get past Chaminade's Lucas Colombo in the second quarter of the CHSAA boys basketball final. (March 1, 2011) Credit: James Escher

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord/And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life

(I'll wait for you to do the obligatory drum roll)

A little Phil Collins, and not just because he's retiring.

**UPDATE** Mount St. Michael defeats Cardinal Hayes, 63-56. St. Mary's will see them next week at Fordham*****

St. Mary's - populated as it is with Seniors of Ridiculous Talent - kept on keeping on today, defeating Canisius, 71-58 in the Catholic league Class A semifinal in Albany. And frankly, the way things are looking, the Gaels (ranked first in LI) are the clear-cut favorites to (1) make it Federation on March 26 and (2) take it all home. The way they've been playing, they could probably dance with the AA teams, too.  

Yeah, it's in the air alright. And they've been waiting. Last year, St. Mary's was relatively easy prey to Nichols in the first round of the CHSAA tournament (67-49).

Some game deets, as compiled by coach Bill Harkins' informative texts and my very own sources (ah, the age of technology).

Chavaughn Lewis - 24 points, nine rebounds, four steals, two blocks

Dante Agnew - 15 points, eight assists

Charles McCann - 15 points, nine rebounds, three blocks

Justin Bailey - 12 points, five rebounds

St. Mary's (27-0) trailed 9-5 with about four minutes to go in the first and...well, that was pretty much it. Agnew scored the next four (a jumper and a layup) to tie it at 9 and Lewis followed up with a putback to give the Gaels the lead for good. St. Mary's strung together a 13-0 run that lasted from about 3:00 to the closing seconds of the first quarter, when Canisius hit two free throws. They led 36-25 at halftime. Canisius got to within seven in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but drew no closer.

St. Mary's is now ranked 51st in the nation, per Harkins. They take on Mount St. Michael at Fordham, next Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Looks like it could be the genesis of a pretty neat little run. (Geddit? Because I opened with Phil Collins and he...oh, never mind.)

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