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Lincoln Ices Holy Cross – QNS.com

Lincoln Ices Holy Cross

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - The match-up everyone wanted to see when Holy Cross and Lincoln met was Sylven Landesberg against Lance Stephenson, the city’s best senior against the best junior, Mr. New York Basketball against Mr. Born Ready.
Paul Gilvary, the Knights coach who won his first city championship March 9, knew better.
“They have a terrific team, a very, very well rounded team,” Gilvary said. “They have just about everything you need obviously. We knew that. We expected the other guys would play well.”
But, maybe, not this well. Stephenson was held in check, limited to 16 points and 12 rebounds, but the other Railsplitters did more than enough damage so that the Coney Island school cruised to an 86-67 victory in the state Federation Class AA final, their second consecutive crown.
Senior power forward Justin Greene decimated the undersized Knights inside, compiling 19 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Darwin Ellis made Cross pay when they protected the paint, knocking down four 3-pointers and 20 points altogether. Senior forward Khalif Staten added 14 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting.
“Anyone can come in and knock down shots for them,” senior guard Kayvon Roberts said.
When Stephenson was assessed a technical foul for dunking after the whistle blew, charged with his second personal foul, he sat for the entire second quarter and final 1:07 of the first. Cross trailed just 16-13 at that point, but found themselves down, 42-26, by halftime, despite Stephenson stuck to the pine. Greene scored eight points in the 26-13 spurt while Ellis and senior Timothy Flowers knocked down two treys apiece.
“That just shows they’re a good team even without Lance,” Landesberg said. “In my opinion, even if Lance didn’t play, they would be in the position they are right now.”
In the second meeting between the two schools - Lincoln won the first comfortably, 81-60, in the Crotty Classic at Hofstra University January 27 - the 6-foot-7 Greene, with help from 6-foot-8 center James Padgett, were the difference. Cross had no answer for the two inside. Lincoln, ranked 11th in the nation by USA Today, dominated them off the glass, 41-27, grabbing momentum-turning offensive rebounds whenever the Knights (22-9) made a run.
Landesberg, who scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, was not a one-man show. Roberts scored 19 points, but the other three senior starters - Tim Beinert, Blaise Ffrench and Ernest Freeman - combined for 15 points as Cross shot 36 percent from the field.
It was on other end of the court where the Knights fell short, Gilvary said. They could never sustain any run because even when Lincoln (31-4) misfired, they corralled the carom, one reason the Railsplitters shot a blistering 53 percent.
“It seemed like every one of their missed shots was like an assist,” Gilvary said. “We didn’t play nearly as well as would’ve liked to, and obviously to beat a team like Lincoln you can’t play anything less than your best.”
The loss, Gilvary said, in no way takes away from their record-setting season nor does it diminish the campaign their senior-laden squad enjoyed or the joy the city championship brought.
“Our season was made and will always be remembered for the game at Fordham against Christ the King,” he fondly recalled. “That was forever.”

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