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Jimmy Golaszewski leads Holy Trinity to state CHSAA Class A title

Holy Trinity head basketball coach Joe Conefry congratulates

Holy Trinity head basketball coach Joe Conefry congratulates James Golaszewski during the CHSAA Class A State Final Championship game against Xavier on Saturday, March 15, 2014. Credit: Errol Anderson

Every good high school basketball team has one. He's the guy who is capable of scoring from inside and outside. The player who doesn't think he's "too good" to take charges, make the extra pass and crash the boards. The kid who looks you in the eye and calls you "sir."

The leader.

For Holy Trinity, that's Jimmy Golaszewski.

Holy Trinity won its first state title in boys basketball since 1980 Saturday at Fordham University by a wide margin, defeating Xavier, 61-39, to claim the CHSAA Class A crown.

At halftime, however, Holy Trinity (23-6) only led 28-25. Golaszewski changed that.

"We wanted to make a run, because we hadn't had one yet and we were up only three, so we needed to push the tempo and get things going our way," he said. "We always make a run in games so I wanted to help get one going to open the second half."

The junior guard/forward was the guy for the job. He opened the third quarter with five straight points. He also had a pretty dish to Peter Alkins, who hit a layup. He took a charge that led to a Holy Trinity basket, too. And he grabbed four rebounds.

And three minutes into the third quarter the Titans were suddenly ahead 38-25.

"It felt great because we were able to slow it down, control the game and push them away from getting close" Golaszewski said. "Then we started to taste the fact that we could win a state championship. I wanted to take over, but take over in a controlled way and not force anything. I just had to do everything I could to get a lead for our team because it was the state championship."

Holy Trinity outscored Xavier 21-5 during the pivotal third quarter as Xavier shot only 3-for-23 from the field during the period. And for the game, the Titans held Xavier (24-4) to only 20 percent from the field.

"That's one of those as a coach where you're thinking, 'I hope that happens.' And it did," coach Joe Conefry said. "They were an excellent team and a very good offensive team. We did a really good job closing out on them and taking away their dribble penetration. I also just wanted us to attack, make the extra pass and keep moving. And Jimmy was the guy who was open and he knocked them down. He usually does."

Golaszewski finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Farella added 13 points and Bradley Eugene contributed 10 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Holy Trinity, which led by as many as 24 points late in the third quarter, out-rebounded Xavier 44-33.

"What we managed to do today is tremendous for this school," Eugene said. "It really is something special for us, to be the team to get it done."

The Titans will play in the state Federation Class A semifinal against WHEELS Friday at the Times Union Center in Albany.

"At this point, we're confident and we should be confident, but we know there will be some great teams up there," Conefry said. "This has been so much fun as a coach. Now, at practice, instead of thinking about next year, we're still trying and continuing to get better."

For now, though, Golaszewski said he will spend a little time reflecting on what getting this far means for Holy Trinity.

"It means a lot," Golaszewski said. "The school hasn't won in a long time so I can barely describe it other than saying it's great."

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