With Kellenberg’s student section showering Steven Torre with the “Happy Birthday’’ song in the closing seconds, he couldn’t help but let his guard down for a split second.
“It definitely makes it a special birthday gift,” said Torre, who had 23 points, 14 rebounds and five assists in No. 2 Kellenberg’s 55-49 victory over No. 3 Holy Trinity on Sunday in a CHSAA semifinal at LIU Post. “I get to thank my teammates for that one.”
But he quickly turned his attention to the the CHSAA final against No. 4 St. Anthony’s (19-6) Tuesday at Hofstra at 8 p.m. After losing to Chaminade in last season’s championship game, Kellenberg has been on a redemption quest all season.
“It’s great to get there again,” Torre said, “but we’d definitely like to win it this time.”
Kyle DeVerna added, “It was our goal from the beginning of the season.”
Holy Trinity (14-7) gave Kellenberg (21-2) a tough challenge, led by Camren Wynter (16 points) and Thornton Scott (14). Holy Trinity led 26-23 at halftime before a wild third quarter with six lead changes and one tie ended with Kellenberg up 41-37.
With 1:07 left, Torre drove the lane, then found Anthony DeGennaro in the corner. DeGennaro’s three-pointer gave Kellenberg a 51-47 lead.