Andre Snoddy wasn’t playing around anymore.
What happened in the previous 24 minutes didn’t matter to the St. Anthony’s senior guard. It was the next eight minutes that was going to define his basketball season with the Friars -- which ended up extending to 12 minutes.
Snoddy was unwavering and unwilling to accept defeat with his fourth-quarter approach. He scored 10 of his 18 points in the period as St. Anthony’s defeated Holy Trinity, 51-47, in overtime in the boys basketball Nassau/Suffolk CHSAA Class A championship game at Hofstra’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex Tuesday evening.
“Fourth quarter, we just told ourselves as seniors, we had to step it up now,” Snoddy said. “We’re not going home with a loss.”
Top-seeded St. Anthony’s (21-5) advances to play in the state CHSAA Class A semifinals at Hofstra Saturday at 6:30 p.m. after winning its second league title in the last three years. The state championship will be March 14 at Fordham University. No. 2 Holy Trinity finished at 20-6.
Snoddy used his 6-5 size to his advantage to work in the paint to create a layup with nine seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 43 and force overtime. The basket came after Holy Trinity’s T.J. Long had a pivotal steal near midcourt, leading to Mike Sixsmith being fouled at the basket with 22 seconds left. The senior guard hit both foul shots to give the Titans a 43-41 advantage.
“I put a lot of work in the gym just for moments like this,” Snoddy said. “To step up and show I’m one of the premier players on Long Island. And I couldn’t do that without my teammates.”
Defense has been the calling card for the Friars all season -- and the championship was no different. Tristan Correa, who added 12 points including two key free throws with 34.5 seconds left in overtime to give St. Anthony’s a five-point lead, helped contain the Titans’ talented guards.
“Without Tristan, we’re not getting this championship right here,” Snoddy said. “He showed a lot of courage, a lot of heart and that’s why we won -- because of him.”
St. Anthony’s outscored Holy Trinity, 8-4, in the overtime period.
“Sometimes you have a team that you just root for, and I think it would upset me more if they lost,” coach Sal Lagano said. “And we beat a great team today, but I just root for these guys. You fall in love with a team sometimes and I’m at that point.”