It’s a CHSAA Class A boys basketball clash as Cardinal Spellman takes on Salesian live on MSGVarsity.com Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Coached by Fred Opper, who is in his 37th year and picked up career win No. 300 Jan. 21 against Blessed Sacrament, Cardinal Spellman has bounced back from a 10-14 season a year ago.
The Pilots are 16-4 following a 59-37 win over Xavier a week ago in game also broadcast live on MSGVarsity.com.
Opper said the combination of several returning players along with the players up from the junior varsity championship squad is the reason for his squad’s success this year.
“The six kids coming back played last year and then bringing the kids who won the JV championship last year, they just blended together right from the start of the season,” Opper said.
Domenic Arena, a transfer from Iona Prep, is Cardinal Spellman’s leading scorer, averaging 15.1 points per game. The junior had a game-high 23 points against Xavier.
However, the offense is very much shared, another key to the Pilots success.
“Our offense is basically set for everybody so anybody and everybody can score,” said Anthony Williams, a third-year varsity player.
Salesian (4-17) is looking to pull off the upset and the Eagles have been playing some of its best basketball of the league late in the season. Salesian is 2-2 in its last four games, beating Regis and LaSalle on consecutive days last weekend.
Coached by John Miressi, who is in his fourth season, Salesian is a senior-laden team led by Kyle Williams, a 6-foot-3 forward who was the squad’s leading scorer a year ago.
Will Salesian cross the border into The Bronx and pull off the upset or will Cardinal Spellman hold serve at home and move closer to clinching a division title? Find out live on MSGVarsity.com Tuesday at 4 p.m.