Well, they got it done. Bishop Guertin was the preseason favorite to win the D-I title by well, everybody. It's not easy when you're the favorite and you're supposed to win it. Everybody is gunning for you, and you always get everybody's best game. But BG got it done.
Behind 22 points each for seniors Connor Green and Sean McClung, the Bishop Guertin boys basketball team started the 4th quarter on a 15-4 run and beat Trinity 54-46 in the Division I final.
Game was a Tossup Through 3 Quarters
This was a very good title game. Trinity put up a great fight. It was a back-and-forth game. Trinity actually led for most of the 1st half, they led after 3 quarters and there were 8 total lead changes in the game.
Sophomore forward Mabor Gabriel had a great 1st half (scoring 13 of his 15 points). And junior guard Wol Majong had a very good 2nd half, finishing with a team-high 21 points.
BG's Steve Cuipa had and offensive rebound and put-back to put the Cardinals up 32-28 in the 3rd quarter. Trinity came storming back though, to take a 36-35 lead heading into the 4th. Guertin took the air out of the gym by holding the basketball for 2 straight minutes late in the 3rd, then after they failed to score, Majong came back and hit a shot from 3/4 court at the buzzer to put the Pioneers ahead.
4th Quarter Belonged to BG
McClung hit a pair of three-pointers from the corner to ignite a 15-4 Guertin run to begin the 4th quarter. He also had some clutch free throws down the stretch. BG also picked their defense up, just suffocating Trinity and making it tough for them to score. They took a 50-40 lead 1:13 left to play. Game over.
Turning Point in BG's Season Was the Dover Game
"In the 2nd half of the Dover game we came back from down 18 and won it" said Bishop Guertin head coach Jim Migneault. "It was a good win for us and the turning point of our season. We've won 16 games in a row now.
BG has now won a football and basketball state title in the same year. Players such as Nick Pyzocha, Kyle Remillard, Steve Cuipa, Mike Kelly and Joe McCarthy were all on the football championship team in the fall, and they were all key contributors on the basketball championship team as well.
"They learn how to win on the football field, and they bring that with them to the basketball court" said Coach Migneault.
Strong Season for Trinity As Well
BG had an all senior starting lineup and another senior who came off the bench for big minutes. Trinity meanwhile only has 1 senior (Zach Stevens) who gets minutes. They brought in a transfer (Majong) over the off-season, but they also had 4 players transfer out of the program before the school year started - Dylan Lafond, Timi Laniyan, Logan Kesty, and oh yeah and some kid named Madol. The Pioneers also had a freshman (Carmen Giampetruzzi) who played 19 minutes in the title game. The fact that they got this far is impressive stuff.
Stevens is a great story, as a kid who overcame a torn ACL late last season to have an all-state caliber season. he missed all spring and summer and wasn't back on the court until right before this season began. Stevens is a very hard worker and is a big reason why Trinity made it to the 'ship'.
"Every since I was a 14 year-old freshman until now as an 18 year-old senior they have embraced me at Trinity" said Stevens. 'Everyone at the school has always been behind me through everything. And I couldn't ask for a better coach. Some people don't agree with some of the things he does, but Coach Keefe is just very passionate about basketball."