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Xaverian beats Holy Cross, advances to Brooklyn-Queens final

February 26, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Doyin Isaac carried Xaverian on his back during a 19-0 run in the fourth quarter that led to a Clippers victory and sends them to the Brooklyn-Queens final. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Clippers are back in the Brooklyn-Queens final.

Xaverian High School beat Holy Cross 57-42 in Queens Wednesday night and will now face Christ the King in the Catholic High School Athletic Association Brooklyn-Queens Diocesan final on Friday night.

“This is real big for us,” Sayon Charles said. “It’s important for our program, our school and for each other. We had a two-year plan here at Xaverian [going back to the start of last season], and we’re just following through with that now.”

Xaverian took a 10-0 lead early in the first quarter behind six points from Charles, but the Clippers quickly cooled off. Holy Cross cut the lead to 10-4 after one and tied it at 14-14 by halftime. Holy Cross had a lead late in the third quarter, but Doyin Isaac hit a pair from the line to tie it, and Zack Bruno hit a three at the buzzer to put Xaverian up 32-29 headed to the fourth quarter.
“When Zack Bruno hit that three to end the third quarter, that was really big for us,” Najee Larcher said. “It hyped us up and gave us a lot of momentum headed to the fourth quarter.”

Everything changed in the fourth quarter, as Xaverian took control of the game behind point guard Doyin Isaac. Isaac had eight points during a 19-0 run that lasted about five minutes and was capped off by a slam dunk by Nyontay Wisseh, which effectively ended the game.

“We kind of hit a wall late in the season, and we’ve been fighting to get back,” Isaac said, referring to the fact that Xaverian lost two of its final three games during the regular season. “It seems like we found it in the fourth quarter.”

It was hard to picture the Clippers in the Diocesan final a year ago when they were just wrapping up a tough season. Head coach Jack Alesi preached the idea of a two-year plan where the focus wasn’t so much on winning last season as much as it was on improving and preparing for this season. The Brooklyn-Queens final isn’t the ultimate goal for Xaverian, but it does represent a big step.

“This feels real good because we haven’t been in the Brooklyn-Queens championship in a while,” Isaac said. “We’re pumped. We’re ready. … This means a lot. Ever since last year, we said this was going to be a two-year plan. We were getting ready for this.”

Isaac led Xaverian with 18 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter. Charles had 15, and Larcher had 10. Jermaine Bishop had 16 points for Holy Cross.

Xaverian will face Christ the King High School in the CHSAA Brooklyn-Queens final in Middle Village, Queens, on Friday.

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