The Gabriel Richard Catholic Boys Basketball Team welcomed in rival Cardinal Mooney on Monday night. Richard was celebrating Senior Night and the 2018 Baseball State Championship Banner.
“It was a great evening for our community.” Said Coach Daiek. “We celebrated our seniors and our teams for their accomplishments. These seniors have battled to continue the success of our alumni. People have to understand that defending is more difficult than chasing.” Coach Daiek continued.
In the first Richard would come out strong offensively and take an early 16-10 lead. Senior, Garrett Balazsi scored 6 points while Senior, Deshon Elam scored 5 points in the first.
In the second quarter, GR would get outscored 17-13. Sophomore Larry Dedalis would score 10 points in the 8-minute span. Richard would get balance from Senior, Kevin Tuttle and Junior, Nick Huiser with 4 points. Richard would hold a narrow 29-27 lead heading into half time.
“They threw some different defenses at us in that first half.” Coach Daiek said. “We played inspired basketball in the first half and I have to credit Mooney for getting through that. We had chances to blow it open and they hung on.” Coach Daiek added.
In the third, The Cardinals outscored GR by the score of 12-9. Senior, Nolan Julio scored 7 points to lead Cardinal Mooney. as they carried a 39-37 lead heading into the fourth. The Pioneers would get a pair of three-pointers from Balazsi and Tuttle.
“They threw some things at us that we haven’t seen.” Coach Daiek said. “We got some looks but they were different looks and it took a minute to adjust. I give them (Cardinal Mooney), they had a good game plan.” Coach Daiek said.
In the fourth, The Pioneers responded. Senior, Kevin Tuttle, and Garrett Balazsi put GR on their backs. Tuttle would score 10 points in the quarter, however, no more important than the three-pointer with just over 3 minutes to go. The three would give GR the lead for good. Minutes before Garett Balazsi would also drain a three to give Richard the lead by four points.
Richard would take the lead by 7 points. Mooney would begin to foul to try to keep the game close. However, GR would knock down 9-13 free throws which kept the Cardinals out of reach. Aside from Tuttles 10 points in the quarter, Senor, Deson Elam would drop in 5 points and Sophomore, Mike Holdsclaw would score 4 points in the fourth.
Richard would go on to win 60-53. Tuttle would end with a game-high 20 points and Balazsi would score 12 points and add 6 assists. Deson Elam would have a night, adding 13 points and 8 rebounds. Junior, Nick Huiser would have 5 points hold Sophomore, Larry Dedalis to just 4 points in the second half.
“Our coaching staff wanted to make the switch with him (Dedalis) in the second half.” Coach Daiek said. “He (Huiser) did a great job on him.” Coach Daiek Said.
The Pioneers snap the 5 game winning streak of Mooney and now carry a 13-2 record. GR will now face Bishop Foley in the first round of the CHSL Playoffs on Saturday.
“We are playing good basketball right now.” Coach Daiek said. “Our kids are interested in one thing and are excited to contribute to the goal…winning. We told them before the game…this is a special group.” Coach Daiek continued.