Irish Fall To Phoenix On Home Court

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Braidon Moore, who scored 21 points, goes up for a shot against the Phoenix Monday night. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)

SPECIAL TO THE BLOG

WELLAND – The senior Irish finished play in the first year of the NCAA  (Niagara Catholic Athletic Association) in disappointing fashion  Monday night with a lopsided loss at Dillon Hall  to St. Francis Phoenix in the league semifinals.

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Rovenston Jean-Baptiste under the St. Francis basket.

Despite a roster depleted with injuries and illness, the Irish managed to keep pace with the Phoenix  for most of the first half.  Behind strong performances by Jason Rochard and Braidon Moore the Irish only trailed 33-26.  But the second half was a different story, the Phoenix took advantage of the Irish’s lack of depth and size to wear them down.  In the end, St. Francis prevailed 74-48. Braidon Moore scored a team high 21 points.

A tale of woe sums up the story line for the Irish these past few weeks. They have been riddled with injuries and illness since the mid-January exam break.  All five starters have missed games due to injuries in the final third of the schedule: Kyle Cooper (ankle injury and illness missed 5 games), Braidon Moore (food poisoning, 3 games), Jonah Gruarin  (back, 1 game), Brandon Graziani (dislocated finger, 1 game) and Alex Root (ankle, 1 game).

However, the season is not over, the senior Irish  advance to play A.N. Myer Marauders next week in the AAA Zone championship.  The game will take place Thursday, February 23, 5 p.m. at Myer.  The winner will advance to SOSSA on February  27  at Sir Allen MacNab in Hamilton.

The Jr. Irish will  play Myer at 3:30 p.m. the same day for the Jr AAA Zone Championship.  The winner  advances to SOSSA on Wednesday, March 1 hosted by Notre Dame.

The Jr. Irish play this afternoon (Wednesday, February 15) taking on St. Francis in the NCAA championship game at 3 p.m.

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Jason Rochard drives the ball as a St. Francis defender guards the basket.

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