The Holy Trinity boys basketball team had its season come to a close Saturday, falling to The Park School of Buffalo, 55-52, in a state CHSAA Class A semifinal at Canisius College.
The Titans took a 38-36 lead into the fourth quarter and led by one with less than two-minutes left before Park guard Noah Hutchins converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give Park a 51-49 lead. Holy Trinity had possession with 40 seconds left and a chance to tie it with a two-pointer but were unable to score.
“[Hutchins] made some tough shots and we just didn’t convert on some tough possessions toward the end,” Holy Trinity guard Mike Sixsmith said. “But our guys competed, that’s the most important thing . . . I wouldn’t trade them for anyone else.”
Sixsmith led Holy Trinity with 22 points and AJ Knight added 20 for the Titans. Sixsmith and Hutchins (31 points) traded baskets throughout the first three quarters and didn’t disappoint in crunch time — Sixsmith scored eight points in the fourth quarter, while Hutchins scored 13.
“Mike was going to-to-toe with Hutchins, they were putting on a show,” Holy Trinity coach Joe Conefry said. “[Sixsmith] can score in so many ways — he’s a quiet assassin...he doesn’t say a whole lot but when he steps on floor he has the attitude that he’s as good as anyone, and he gives us a chance to win any game.”
Sixsmith, a junior, is the only starter returning next season as Holy Trinity graduates senior starters Knight, Tim Kiggins, Dan Kalimian and Mark Roberts. But after winning the CHSAA championship last week, this team has certainly cemented itself as one of the best in program history. Conefry compares them to the 2013-14 Titans that won the state CHSAA championship, their first since 1980, before losing in the Federation final.
“This team was very similar to that championship team — we were undersized but always defended well against bigger teams and we had a lot of guys that played their role very well," Conefry said. "We were very unselfish and did all the little things. As a coach, I couldn’t ask for much more.”