Anthony Libroia couldn’t seem to hit the most wide-open three-pointers earlier in the season. The Holy Cross guard, known for his shooting prowess, struggled and he knows exactly why.
Libroia was waiting for his SAT score to come back, waiting to see if he qualified for Division I and II basketball. It’s no coincidence that the senior is doing much better now.
“I got the score and ever since then I’ve been shooting really well,” Libroia said.
The newly qualified sniper had 15 points, including four three-pointers, to lead Holy Cross to a 64-42 rout of rival St. Francis Prep in CHSAA Class AA boys’ basketball Friday night in Flushing. Libroia opened the game with a trey, quieting the large crowd on hand and allowing Cross to open up with a 10-0 run.
“We knew it was gonna be a hard-fought battle,” Libroia said. “They’re down the block and they always come in and play hard.”
Holy Cross Coach Paul Gilvary could sense there was something wrong with Libroia early in the season. He was still running the point at times well and using his adept passing skills. But the best part of his game was missing.
“He didn’t shoot it like he can,” Gilvary said. “Since then he’s been shooting the ball wonderfully. We have a lot of confidence in him and I want him to shoot the ball. When he’s making these shots, he really opens up the defense.”
Will Davis and Mairega Clarke each had 13 points apiece for the Knights (14-3, 5-1 ‘AA’). Libroia rounding into form has been made even more important with the absence of Marquise Moore, who broke his toe last month and reinjured it Jan. 14 against Mount St. Michael. Gilvary held him out Friday night and altogether he’s missed six full games with more to come. The coach didn’t like what he saw out of Moore Jan. 17 in a loss to Christ the King when he tried to play on the bad toe.
“He’s not gonna play now until I know he’s 100 percent,” Gilvary said. “He was missing layups. He had no lift. We’re gonna be very cautious now with him. We’ve learned our lesson. I hope by the time he plays again I remember his name.”
Darren Cordero had 16 points for St. Francis Prep (7-9, 1-4), which has now lost four straight. The Terriers were within 23-16 after a traditional three-point play by James Chavis with 1:14 left in the first half, but Clarke had two baskets inside before the break and the game wasn’t really competitive after that.
Libroia, as clear-headed as he’s been all season, started Holy Cross off with a three-pointer in the second half and the Knights rolled from there.
“It got the pressure off of me,” Libroia said, about getting that qualifying score, “and I wasn’t thinking about it as much.”
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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