Crowds cheered for the Chaminade Flyers and the Nazareth Kingsmen in Saturday’s Tom Crotty Classic at Kellenberg High School. The tournament honors the memory of the former alum who was tragically killed in the World Trade Center during the attacks on September 11, 2001. Crotty graduated in ’78 from Maria Regina High School, now Kellenberg.
Chaminade (12-5) used guard Thomas Ahern as their secret weapon in tonight’s 62-50 victory over Nazareth. Ahearn knocked down six out of 10 shots tonight for a total of 18 points, most of which were three-pointers.
But even though the Flyers won the game the Kingsmen put up a good fight. Nazareth (13-4) won the city and state championships last year but lost in the Federations.
“It felt great to come out in a non-league game and get a good win against a good team,” Ahern said.
Six-foot-eight Samson Usilio had 25 points and nine rebounds by the end of the night and that’s not all due to jump shots and lay-ups. Usilio’s coach, Todd Jamison, says Usilio is the best dunker in New York City.
At the start of the fourth, Usilio came out with a slam dunk causing vibrations off the rim and throughout the stands as the fans fiercely cheered and that wasn’t his first one of the night.
Nazareth fell behind in the third quarter scoring only two points to Chaminade’s 17. However, the Kingsmen won the fourth quarter by 8 points. Junior Ammad Alkhukaidi scored 10 points and had nine rebounds.
When Ahern was asked about why he thought they were the champs of tonight’s game he said passing the ball well and playing good defense were key.
“I feel like every game we’re getting better,” Ahern said. “It’s good to be on a roll going into the playoffs.”
Ahern may have been his team’s secret weapon tonight but Jonathan Patterson from was also a leading scorer tonight with 20 points and teammate Michael Walsh, senior, scored 12 points, had 10 rebounds, five blocks and seven assists.