The Alemany Warriors-Chaminade Eagles game had all the hype to be a great one on Friday night. Two teams vying for first place in league play knew they had an opportunity to claim that title on Friday night. Although the trash talk wasn’t as intense as it was earlier in the school year when the two schools squared off in football, but the tensions ran high at their normal peak. The rivalry—while mostly between the two basketball teams—also included each school’s respective cheer zones: Chaminade’s “The Cage” and Alemany’s “War Zone.”
Both Alemany and Chaminade are considered shooting teams. Alemany is led by stretch big man Daron Henson and point guard Shac Dawkins while Chaminade is led by Montana commit Michael Oguine and sharp shooter Aiden Dolan. Both teams started out hot from three-point land. Both teams combined for four 3-pointers just before the lights went out at Alemany with 47 seconds remaining in the first period. Alemany continued it’s hot streak and rolled to an easy 71-56 victory.
Alemany started off with their usual starting team which included Shac Dawkins, Brandon Davis, Ernie Sears, Daron Henson and senior Kevin Summers. Chaminade started off with shooters across the floor which included Dylan Cuenca, Jordan Ogundiran, Aiden Dolan, Michael Oguine and lone big man Bar Milo. While the Eagles lack size, the Warriors thrive with three players measuring at least 6’4 in their starting lineup. Early on, Eagles’ big man Milo struggled by missing two easy lay-ups in the first quarter, which started a “stick to football” chant by the War Zone. Milo smiled and murmured “they’re right.” Milo is committed to the University of Miami football and will be reunited with former Chaminade quarterback and Miami starter Brad Kayaa.
Warriors went down early to Chaminade thanks to a pair of threes by Dolan. Dolan finished the game with 12 points and going 4-for-9 from three. The Warriors found themselves down 17-11 at the end of the first. After a minor power outage during the second quarter the Warriors went on a 15-1 run to end the quarter and take a ten-point lead into the half, leading 36-26. The Warriors’ second quarter lead was helped by a vicious slam by Sears that sent the Alemany crowd into a frenzy.
The Warriors came out of the half rejuvenated and ready to play. They shut down Chaminade’s three-point shooting and held the Eagles 1-for-6 from three for the quarter while also holding Chaminade’s star player, Oguine, to fivepoints for the quarter and 12 total for the game. With Alemany’s suffocating defense forcing Eagle shooters to drive inside and put the ball on the floor, Chaminade was met by Alemany’s big men Henson and Summers. He was forced to shoot free throws where they went 9-for-16 shooting from the cherry stripe. The third quarter was led by Sears and Davis who each posted eight points in the quarter. After the game, Alemany Coach Trey Meeks praised his team’s defensive pressure by stating, “we executed that part of our game plan perfectly.” The Warriors led 49-36 going into the last quarter.
In the fourth it was much of the same success for Alemany as the three-ball was clicking for them. They capitalized with three 3-pointers in the quarter and nine total for the game. Alemany continued to shut down Chaminade shooting who scored only ten points during the last quarter, thanks to great rim protection and perimeter defense. Alemany took a 20-point lead off a three by freshman DJ McDonald with 5:36 remaining in the game. The Warriors at one point had a 30-point lead during the quarter which lead to a “just like football chant” from the War Zone; Alemany beat Chaminade in football earlier this year 55-38 in a lopsided effort. After free throws and made field goals, Alemany rolled to a 71-46 victory over the Eagles to earn them their sixth straight win. They now are tied for first in the league with Crespi, the team they lost to in their first league game of the season.
When the buzzer sounded, Alemany students stormed the court and celebrated with the players. After the game, Alemany’s Dawkins described the Warriors turnaround after the Crespi loss and what has changed. Dawkins said it came down to “just effort. We play together, stay together all the time [and] look to get revenge at Crespi.” The Warriors will look to take sole possession of first place in the league after their battle with the Celts.