WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. - For the third consecutive tournament, Our Lady of Lourdes High School is headed to the championship to face off against Arlington High School.
The Warriors can thank Chris Faughnan for getting them there.
Faughnan’s tournament-high 34 points lifted Lourdes over Roy C. Ketcham High School, 82-72.
“I bounced back from my last few games. My last few games haven’t been ideal for me,” the senior Faughnan said. “Tonight, early on it was going in, so I just knew today was going to be good enough for me”
Faughnan got hot early, as he led Lourdes into the halftime break with 20 first half points.
“He hit some perimeter shots, which were big for us. He’s got the green light to shoot it,” Santoro said of Faughnan. “The difference of the perimeter game really helped him tonight because now it’s like ‘What do you do?” If you put a big guy on him, he’s gonna pull you out, if you put a guard on him, he’s going to the basket.”
Lourdes went into halftime with the lead, but their nine point lead was cut by one. Hot shooting by Ketcham kept them in it in the first 16 minutes, as they had 10 first half three pointers.
It was back and forth in the third quarter, with both teams having multiple mini runs. Neither team was able to pull away until Lourdes started the fourth quarter hot. Lourdes build a nine point lead in the final quarter, but a Gabe Bristow three to mount a comeback to make it a three-point game with a minute remaining.
Lourdes’ late defensive pressure became too much for the Indians, as multiple steals and an eventual slam from Chris Faughnan sealed it.
“It really came down to the last few minutes of the game. I thought we were incredibly evenly matched, to the point where it was scary,” Lourdes head coach Jim Santoro said. “That team is very talented and they ran their stuff really well… Down the stretch, we were preaching structure first, instinct second. It was like, you know what? It’s a tight game, just play.”
Along with Chris Faughnan’s 34, Cameron Crowley had 16 points. Patrick Faughnan and Jake D’Auria both had 12 points each; Jason Adams had eight.
“We all started from the program at the same age, so coach saw with that defense and intensity that we all play together,” Adams said. “We love playing for each other and the intensity just follows throughout the game.”
The Indians wouldn’t go out without a fight, as Bristow led the Indians with 27 points; he knocked down five three pointers.
Dan Belmonte and Owen Paino both had 15 points each.
In 2018, Arlington defeated Lourdes in the championship. The following tournament in 2019, it took the Warriors until triple overtime to take down the Admirals. In 2021, we’ll see the grudge match in the final.
We just got to play our game. Be calm, be relaxed, and I know we can definitely take it home this year,” Faughnan said.
Lourdes is looking to win their fifth championship in tournament history.
“It’s exciting. When I first came to Lourdes, I was always looking at this game and I was always like, 'I want to be in that,’” Adams said of the championship game. “It’s exciting to finally be there.”
The championship will be played at 3 p.m. on Thursday. It will be streamed on LocalLive.
By Tom Seipp (@Tom_Seipp & firstname.lastname@example.org)