After winning back-to-back Manhattan Cup championships last season, Canisius made the trip to Long Island, where its season was abruptly ended with a loss to St. John the Baptist. Despite the graduation of First Team All-Centercourt guard Matt Hart, the Crusaders returned a bevy of talent and came back this season with expectations higher than ever and goals they were determined to accomplish. It began with sweeping MMA rival St. Joe's and finishing league play with no losses. Following that, Canisius set its sights on becoming the first team since the powerful Canisius squads of the mid 1990's to win a third straight Manhattan Cup. The next goal was to get out of the semifinal round and become just the third team since 2006 to represent the MMA in the Class A CHSAA state championship.
Canisius played a complete game and won all four quarters against Chaminade of Mineola, advancing to the CHSAA state championship with a resounding 84-66 victory at the Bernard J.Kennedy Field House on Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders will face Nazereth out of Brooklyn on Saturday at Fordham University for the title. Canisius defeated Nazereth earlier this season by ten points, in the championship round of the Tom Keenan Memorial Tournament it hosted.
Adam Weir finished with a game-high 27 points, Matt MacDonald scored 19 points including four 3-pointers, and Aaron White added 17 points, as the three senior leaders continued their postseason tear. Jamel Mosley provided valuable minutes inside for the Crusaders as well, scoring 12 points and countering the bigs from Chaminade on both ends of the court.
The first quarter and half of the second quarter saw both teams going right at each other, hitting big shots and attacking the basket. The game was tied five different times during that span, and the lead changed a dozen times in the first 12 minutes. A traditional three-point play by Weir with 4:02 to go in the first half gave the Crusaders a two-point lead, and they would never trail again. Canisius ended the half on a 7-2 run and led 43-36 at halftime.
Weir opened the second half scoring with a bucket, before White and MacDonald matched Chaminade baskets with 3-pointers, to move the Crusaders lead to double digits, 51-40. Later in the third, Weir and Josh Huffman hit consecutive treys for Canisius, extending the score to 60-44. The Crusaders shot down any thoughts Chaminade had of a late game rally when they opened the final frame on a 9-1 run to go up 71-52 with 4:44 left in the game.