Chaminade's Richard Zoller III looks and hits for two during...

Chaminade's Richard Zoller III looks and hits for two during the NSCHSAA basketball semifinals between Chaminade and Holy Trinity. (Feb. 27, 2011) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Richard Zoller walked off the court to a standing ovation because Chaminade's 6-8 center had stood tallest.

He was 3 inches bigger than anyone else on the court Sunday, which enabled him to easily execute his Patrick Ewing-style turnaround jumpers and Hakeem Olajuwon-like post-up moves, while still banging the boards and swatting away shots.

Zoller led the third-seeded Flyers to a 65-43 win over No. 2 Holy Trinity in a Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA semifinal at C.W. Post's Pratt Recreation Center. He had 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. All of Zoller's points came in the second and third quarters, when Chaminade outscored Holy Trinity 47-23.

"Coach [Jim Quinn] stressed at halftime to get the ball down low," Zoller said. "When they started doubling me, the outside shooters were hitting their shots. We've got the whole arsenal."

With only one starter taller than 6-1, Holy Trinity couldn't prevent Zoller from getting the ball in his happy zone. He scored five straight points for the Flyers (19-6) early in the second quarter on a free throw, a nice baseline move and a short jumper that gave Chaminade a 20-15 lead.

But it was in the third quarter when Chaminade pulled away. Pounding the ball in the post to Zoller freed up room for the Flyers' gunners, who hit four three-pointers in the quarter. Zoller had two pretty turn-and-shoots, and then Kevin Sheehy (14 points) had a breakaway layup off a steal to cap an 11-3 run that produced a 56-34 lead.

The fourth quarter was a mere formality, allowing Quinn to get his stars a rousing ovation and his substitutes some well-deserved playing time.

"Goose bumps were running through my body," Sheehy said of the ovation, which came with 1:08 remaining. "It was an emotional game because we had lost in the semifinals the last two years. It was good to get the subs in because they've been working real hard at practice."

Holy Trinity (15-11) had a 13-12 lead after a quarter, in which Tyler Seidman scored seven of his 20 points. Chaminade committed seven first-quarter fouls to aid the Titans. But Chaminade's role players picked up the slack, as Matthew Gonyon and Lucas Colombo each scored 12 points. Gonyon, who hit two deep three-pointers in the third quarter, also had five assists.

"When that happens and they're playing so well, you can't overcome them," Holy Trinity coach Joe Conefry said.

The Flyers have the unenviable task of taking on 25-0 St. Mary's, which defeated them twice during the regular season, in tomorrow's 7 p.m. final at Hofstra. Said Sheehy: "We've got nothing to lose."

If nothing else, Chaminade has the memories of walking tall toward the bench Sunday as victors.

Said Zoller: "It was really rewarding."

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