Despite beating St. Raymond by 15 points a month earlier behind a career-day from Josh James, Stepinac and its senior star were considered an underdog by many entering Sunday’s CHSAA quarterfinals. The young Ravens appeared to have outgrown their inconsistent ways in winning a second straight New York Archdiocesan championship.
St. Ray’s led 20-10 after one quarter, but Stepinac regained its form behind 11 straight points from James – including the 1,000th of his career – in the second. The Crusaders kept it up throughout, running away from the Ravens to advance to their first CHSAA semifinal at the AA level.
Below is a look at Sunday’s results and Thursday’s upcoming schedule. Dan and I will both be at the game Thursday night as Stepinac meets Bishop Loughlin, which ended Iona Prep’s season Sunday in another quarterfinal at Fordham.
CHSAA AA intersectional tournament
Sunday, at Fordham University, Rose Hill Gym:
Stepinac 68, St. Raymond 51
Bishop Loughlin 72, Iona Prep 59
Cardinal Hayes 67, Archbishop Molloy 66
Christ the King 82, St. Peter’s 66
Stepinac 68, St. Raymond 51: In the CHSAA AA quarterfinals at Fordham University’s Rose Hill Gym, Josh James led the Crusaders with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. The senior also scored his 1,000th point on a 3-pointer midway through the second quarter.
The Monmouth-bound guard currently sits at 1,013 total points.
“It’s a great feeling,” said James of reaching 1,000 points. “But I knew I had to finish out the game before I could celebrate.”
Naim Thomas added 18 points and five rebounds. Walter King had nine points. Their team outscored St. Ray’s 58-31 in the final three quarters after trailing 20-10 after one.
Stepinac (20-7) advanced to the CHSAA AA semifinals for the first time in program history. The Crusaders will play Bishop Loughlin in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym. They lost to Loughlin 83-70 at home on Jan. 27.
Bishop Loughlin 72, Iona Prep 59: In the CHSAA AA quarterfinals at Fordham University’s Rose Hill Gym, Matt Ryan had 26 points. Brandon Williams had 10 points. The Gaels led 29-28 before Loughlin closed the first half on a 9-0 run. The Brooklyn school then outscored Iona 18-6 in the third quarter to extend its lead to 20. Iona Prep finished its first season in the AA division 14-13.
Thursday, March 7
CHSAA AA intersectional semifinals
At Fordham University, Rose Hill Gym:
Bishop Loughlin vs. Stepinac, 6 p.m.
Christ the King vs. Cardinal Hayes, 8 p.m.