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Kyle Murphy, Brendan McGuire lead Chaminade into CHSAA final

Kyle Murphy #12 of Chaminade, right, gets pressured

Kyle Murphy #12 of Chaminade, right, gets pressured by John Harewood #1 of St. Anthony's during the CHSAA boys basketball semifinals at LIU Post on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. Credit: James Escher

When Kyle Murphy reflects on how Chaminade’s 2015-16 boys basketball season ended, he remembers feeling angry and sad. But beneath that, he remembers making a critical mistake in advance of his team’s upset loss to St. Anthony’s in a CHSAA semifinal.

Said Murphy, “I think we overlooked them last year.”

This year was a different story.

The second-seeded Flyers trailed for only eight seconds in a 66-50 win over third-seeded St. Anthony’s on Sunday at LIU Post’s Pratt Recreation Center. Chaminade (19-5) will face top-seeded Holy Trinity at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hofstra with the CHSAA title on the line.

Brendan McGuire scored 16 points, Murphy had 12, and Robert Connors and Mi chael O’Connell each had 11.

Eight seconds after John Harewood gave St. Anthony’s a 2-0 lead with a reverse layup, Kellen Paradine drew a foul and sank both foul shots. He scored on a post move the next time downcourt, and Chaminade never trailed again.

“We went in with a grudge on our shoulder and played hard from the beginning,” Murphy said.

Harewood and Tyrone Lyons, who each scored 19 points, kept St. Anthony’s (20-6) close into the third quarter. Even when Chaminade converted 5 of 12 three-pointers in the second quarter — including a 27-footer by McGuire — Harewood and Lyons stymied the Flyers by beating their man-to-man and 1-3-1 zone defenses.

“They’re both great at going to the basket,” McGuire said. “They’re really quick, and they’re just great players.”

Midway through the second quarter, Lyons stole a pass and fed Harewood for a fast-break layup to cut the gap to 24-18. Chaminade responded by sandwiching Lyons’ reverse layup with a bucket from Connors and McGuire’s deep three-pointer for a 29-20 lead.

“I was a little surprised,” Murphy said after McGuire pulled up several feet beyond the arc and fired away. “I was hoping that it went, and then when I saw it go in, if he didn’t make it, I would have killed him.”

Chaminade went ahead 47-33 with 3:22 left in the third quarter when Murphy completed his second three-point play of the period, but Harewood and Lyons combined to score six straight points to trim the deficit to eight. But the Friars didn’t get close, partially because Chaminade had only six turnovers all game.

Said Chaminade coach Bob Paul, “I think that Sal [Lagano, the St. Anthony’s coach] knows we have guys that can handle the ball, so if you do [press], you could end up with layups for us because we really pride ourselves on having five guys that can handle it, pass and shoot regardless of their size. We really put a lot of time into that.”

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