The Cavaliers advanced to their fifth straight CSAC Final with a 90-77 win over the Neumann Knights in the CSAC semi-final game on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
A big three from junior Fran Rafferty kicked off a 10-0 run for the Cavs to start off the game forcing Neumann to call a timeout.
Rafferty finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and was a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc.
The Cavs began to struggle out of the timeout, missing a few baskets. The Knights come all the way back with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to one.
The Knights took the lead, 22-21, with just over nine minutes to go in the first half. The lead changed six times before the Cavaliers claimed the lead and maintained it for the rest of the half.
After the break, the Cavs led by six, 40-34.
“It was a matter of playing calm,” fifth-year head coach Marcus Kahn said, “stick with what’s working and not change the game plan halfway through.”
Although the Cavs shot only 38 percent from the field, they held the Knights to just 40 percent.
Cabrini picked up where they left off coming out and scoring in the first minute of the second half.
Sophomore Aaron Walton-Moss took over in the second half, making basket after basket in the paint for the Cavaliers. Walton-Moss finished with a career-high 30 points and just short of a triple-double with 12 rebounds and eight assists.
“We take it one game at a time,” Walton-Moss said. “We try to have the same energy every game, no excuses. You lose now and you’re done.”
The Cavs controlled the pace of most of the second half but the Knights didn’t give up.
Neumann came within four points and put the Cavs on edge as the Nerney Field House became quiet.
A three from senior A.J. Williams rallied the fans and the Cavs didn’t look back from there.
Cabrini built their lead to 14 points with 30 seconds left in regulation. The Knights tried to foul their way back into the game, but a steal by Williams in the final seconds of the game left him with an open lay-up to ice the scoring.
Williams finished with five points and three steals.
Junior Tim McDaniel also chipped in with 12 points and four assists. Seniors Jeremy Knowles and DeLeon Floyd also chipped in with clutch jumpers and threes when the Cavs needed them.
Knowles finished with nine points, five rebounds and two assists. Floyd finished with 11 points and seven rebounds of his own.
Cabrini shot 54 percent from the field in the second half, supporting coach Marcus Kahn to his 200th career win.
“[Wednesday] we’ll go hard, Thursday we’ll go light and play Friday.” Kahn said.
Looking ahead, the Cavs have a rematch of last year’s CSAC Final, as they will host their rival, Keystone College. Keystone will travel to Cabrini on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. in the CSAC Final as the Cavs bid for their fourth straight conference championship.