NEW YORK, N.Y. - For "AA" city champs, the Cardinal Hayes Cardinals feel they are always underdogs.
On Friday evening, they woke everyone up as they squeaked past the Hudson Catholic Hawks, 57-55 in the second matchup at the SNY Invitational.
"To beat guys of that caliber speaks a lot about our kids, because they didn't waver, they didn't back down and our kids didn't either," said Cardinal Hayes coach Joseph Lods. "It was a clash of the titans; fortunately tonight was our night. I'm glad it wasn't two out of three or three out of five though, that's for sure."
Down 39-33, the game quickly became the Jahvon Quinerly show. With all eyes focused him, and his fellow McDonald's All American Louie King fouled, the former Gatorade NJ Player of Year took over, scoring 12 of his game-high 27 points in the final period.
"That kid [Quinerly], what a star," said Lods. "I hope he gets a high major scholarship that he deserves that was performance of the performances. He hit clutch shot after clutch shot, what a talent."
Ohio State commit Luther Muhammad scored 12 points and added five rebounds. King finished with four points and nine rebounds.
As Quinerly shots continued to fall, Cardinal Hayes, down a basket, trapped him and forced a game-winning, Johnathan Delgado three-pointer as time expired.
Cardinal Hayes took full advantage of Hudson Catholic's stars, Quinerly and Muhammad, in foul trouble. Seniors Tyrese Williams and Michael Richardson propelled the Cardinals to a 16-4 run and walked into the half with a 25-20 lead.
"I don't like blaming the refs when we lose but tonight was very different, I've never seen anything like it," said Quinerly.
Williams and Richardson led the way for the Cardinals as they both scored 16 points. The freshman added 11 points off the bench and Toussaint had nine points.
"I think our guards played exceptionally well tonight, especially Joe, Jontai and Jaylen [Smith], our freshman off the bench hit a bunch of big shots," said Cardinal Hayes senior wing Williams. "We just played a well-rounded game."
"People sleep on us honestly," said Williams. "I know people sleep on me and sleep on Joe [Toussaint] and Jontai [Williams] and our whole squad. It proves when you got a good group of guys that are committed to playing together and working together to get a W, we can do anything."
Cardinal Hayes will face LuHi in the championship at 4pm on Saturday. Hudson Catholic will face Archbishop Molloy at 2 p.m in the all-star consolation game featuring the tournament's three McDonalds All-Americans.