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Holy Cross rolls over Molloy for 10th overall victory

TimesLedger Newspapers

Holy Cross was patient, it was unselfish and there was no greater example of that than at the end of the third quarter.

With Archbishop Molloy within six, its smallest deficit since early on in the first quarter, the Knights worked the ball around to senior sharpshooter Anthony Libroia at the top of the key and he drilled a momentum-turning three-pointer. The large crowd was taken out of the game and Holy Cross ended up cruising to a 71-57 win over Molloy in CHSAA Class AA boys’ basketball Friday night in Briarwood.

“He hit that shot, it gave us a lot of momentum and took a lot of momentum from them,” said Cross senior guard Marquise Moore, who fed Libroia the ball. “That helped us a lot. That was a big shot.”

It was actually a designed set that the Knights use at the end of quarters. It worked to perfection, just like much of the Cross offense Friday night.

“They did exactly what they were supposed to do,” Gilvary said of the play. “They all ran the set the way they were supposed to run it. They got the shot that we wanted and then the kid makes it. When that happens, it always feels like it’s worth going to practice every day.”

If not for seven missed free throws in the fourth quarter, Holy Cross (10-2, 1-0 ‘AA’) would have won by an even larger margin. Moore finished with 19 points, Mairega Clarke had 13 points, Eddie Roscigno had 10 points and Libroia added nine in a typically balanced attack. C.J. Davis had 20 points and Marko Kozul added 10 for Molloy (7-6, 0-2).

“I think our biggest strength is our passing and ball control,” Roscigno said. “If we can execute there, I don’t think any team in the league can control the ball as well as we can.”

The Knights will find out soon enough. Cross hosts Xaverian on Friday and travels to Mount St. Michael on Saturday. Because of that upcoming slate, winning on the road against Molloy became vital.

“This was a good game to get,” Moore said.

While Holy Cross has won 10 of 11, including two games at the Tony Rudi Basketball Classic in New Orleans, Molloy has scuffled. The Stanners have now lost four straight. Legendary Coach Jack Curran thought Holy Cross was quicker and moved the ball much better.

The standing-room-only crowd was never a factor. Holy Cross led 22-6 after the first quarter and 42-26 on a Libroia three-pointer with 5:50 left in the third quarter. Davis led Molloy back, though, with a three-pointer and a three-point play to make it 46-38 with 1:44 remaining in the third. Gabe Kilpatrick’s basket got the Stanners within 46-40 less than 30 seconds later.

Libroia’s three-pointer with two seconds left in the frame proved to be the momentum killer, though.

“That was the game,” Curran said. “We had them shaken.”

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