Jonathan Harewood’s time with the St. Anthony’s boys basketball team had just come to a disappointing end, but the senior guard nonetheless remained appreciative of all the success he and his teammates enjoyed during their time together.
“I’m grateful,” Harewood said following St. Anthony’s 51-40 loss to the Park School of Buffalo in the state CHSAA Class A semifinal on Saturday afternoon at LIU Post. “We were the underdog a lot throughout the season and we accomplished a lot. This is the end for us seniors, but pain is temporary. I don’t regret anything in my four years here. And I’m proud of everyone.”
The Friars won the Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA in their last game over Chaminade and two years ago beat Kellenberg in the NSCHSAA final.
Harewood, who entered the day averaging 14.1 points per game, notched all 10 of his points in the opening half. Tyrone Lyons also added eight for St. Anthony’s.
Both sides had their fair share of struggles from the field in the second half, with St. Anthony’s being outscored 19-12. Brandon Smith, who scored 10 of his 17 points in the final 16 minutes, opened the Park School’s first double-digit lead at 46-36 with 7:12 remaining on a transition three-pointer.
Michael Regan’s third three of the afternoon kept St. Anthony’s within 46-39 at the four-minute mark. St. Anthony’s, however, had just one more point — a free throw by Conor Ryan with 20.6 seconds left — the rest of the way.
St. Anthony’s trailed throughout the first half until Regan (11 points) splashed a three-pointer from the right corner with 1:18 remaining in the second to cap off a 7-0 run and give the Friars a 29-28 lead. The Park School then proceeded to score the final three points of the quarter, and entered the locker room with a 31-29 advantage.
St. Anthony’s took advantage of numerous transition opportunities in the first half, but was primarily held in the halfcourt in the second and was unable to overcome the superior size of the Park School.
Friars coach Sal Lagano touched on what was the ultimate difference-maker following the break. “I think their size was able to slow down our guards and they were able to switch and keep us out of the lane,” Lagano said. “We’d only played a few teams like that so we did as much as we could with the schedule to mimic this sort of matchup . . . They were able to switch screens and contest our threes.”
Despite coming up short of the state CHSAA Class A title game, Lagano had high praise for his team after finishing the season.
“I just thought it was magical,” Lagano said. “I couldn’t be prouder of these kids, especially the seniors. They’ve really set the program up. I just want them to celebrate the end of a great season.”