It was a good thing for Holy Trinity that Peter Alkins is the type of basketball player who enjoys the big moments. The situation late in Sunday's game certainly provided the senior guard with one.
Holy Trinity star forward James Golaszewski was bolted to the bench after fouling out with two minutes left. Holy Trinity was clinging to a two-point lead and needed a positive possession.
On cue, Alkins buried a jumper from the left elbow with 1:19 left to help give his team the cushion it needed to secure the win.
Behind Alkins, who scored a game-high 17 points, third-seeded Holy Trinity defeated second-seeded Kellenberg, 48-41, in a CHSAA semifinal at LIU Post. Holy Trinity (19-4) will play top-seeded St. Mary's in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hofstra.
"Not having Jimmy was a big loss during that final stretch for us,'' Alkins said. "But I do like making the important plays, and Coach reminded us that we have other weapons and could still win this game.''
Alkins established himself earlier in the fourth quarter as the main one. He nailed a long three-pointer with 4:55 remaining to give Holy Trinity its first lead of the second half, 36-35. After Kellenberg tied it, Alkins delivered again by making a pair of free throws to put his team up for good. Holy Trinity pulled away after Alkins' jumper made the score 42-38 with 1:19 left.
"I actually really like playing in the bigger moments of games and being the one taking the shot,'' said Alkins, who had eight fourth-quarter points. "I like to watch basketball and see guys like Kobe Bryant make big-time shots. I was feeling confident at that point.''
Golaszewski, who had 10 points and was a constant presence on both ends, became the team's loudest supporter from the bench during the final two minutes.
"It was really tough because I wanted to win just as much as anyone,'' Golaszewski said. "But I had complete trust in my teammates to win this game. We practice these types of situations, and Peter had a big game for us here when we needed him.''
Ryan Durney led Kellenberg (17-7) with 15 points. Kellenberg, which had its biggest lead of the game early in the third quarter when it was up by seven points, closed the period leading 33-27. Then Holy Trinity's 13-3 run to begin the fourth quarter altered the momentum.
"We never thought we were out of this game. Not at one point,'' Alkins said. "This was a great experience for me and my team and a great atmosphere that I think we can carry into the next game.''