Cardinals Fly High, Start Off 1-0

By Dennis R Bujan Jr - Sports Editor - 

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The banner was raised before the start of the game for the 2016-2017 New York Catholic High School Championship. The Cardinals hosted their first game of the season against the Royals of Christ the King. After the tip-off, Hayes started off with two back to back three-pointers by guard Joe Toussaint and forward Tyrese Williams. Tyrese Williams started fantastically in the first quarter: scoring a team-high of 16 points and going four for four from the three point line.The place was alive after the first quarter, with Hayes leading 31-18.

Tyrese Williams’ stellar performance was followed up by Jontai Williams—who scored 10 out of the 18 points of the second quarter. Jontai Williams used his famous “shake and bake” move with a step back for the natural two pointer. The defense from both teams was intense; each team had players diving for the loose ball and eventually the Royals gained possession and passed it to Kofi Cockburn, who attempted a layup before the last few minutes of the quarter ended. Hayes retained the lead with 49 points to the Royals 35.

The Cardinals defense showed resilience in the last half of the game as both Joe Toussaint and Terry Dawkins forced two back to back turnovers. Jaylen Murray got into a rhythm shooting another three pointer and followed that with a gorgeous possession up the court where he “crossed up” his defender into the lane. Hayes still led 68-51.

The Cardinals’ united front kept everyone in the building alive. The game continued as Joe Toussaint successfully made a two point shot, after bypassing one of the Royal’s defenders. Tyrese Williams never ceased his hard play on both ends of the court with his fourth steal of the game and passed the ball to Terry Dawkins for the layup. Tyrese Williams finished with a game-high 23 points and four steals and Jontai Williams followed with 20 points of his own. Jaylen Murray and Terry Dawkins finished with 11 points. Joe Toussaint only scored 9 points, followed by Michael Richardson who scored 6 points and TJ Reaves who scored 4 points. The final score was 84-64 as Coach Lods and the Cardinals start their road to defending the title 1-0.