The (8) Nichols Vikings take on the (9) Cardinal O’Hara Hawks on Thursday at St. Joes for a play in game. The winner takes on the (1) Canisius Crusaders in a hostile environment that is, Bernard J. Kennedy Field House at Canisius High School.
Nichols and O’Hara both played poorly in the Monsignor Martin League, both finishing at the bottom of the league.
Nichols is a very young team, with only one senior on the squad, Tom Noonan, it is hard to get the team moving in the right direction. Yet, the future is bright for Vikings basketball as current freshmen, Tanner Schmit, Cameron Lewis, and Chris Miner, are all on the starting lineup and poised to bring Nichols basketball back to the days of Will Reagan and Christian Laettner.
The Hawks had a very weak year and have no excuses for it. The Hawks carry two seniors, nine juniors, and two sophomores. The Hawks are a very small team with only three guys 6’2″ or taller. Yet, Zach Glowacki, Darryl Herring, and Larry Middlebrooks look to lead the Hawks to a victory over Nichols.
Nichols was hurt earlier in the year when the six foot guard, Jamar Waters, left Nichols School. Yet, I still think Nichols can make a run in the years to come. Nichols is a very big team, with only two men, guards Greg White and Dan Scully, being below six foot. The Vikings three giants, Chris Miner, Cam Lewis, and Tanner Schmit, all no shorter than 6’4″, are a threat in the paint. Unfortuantely, 6’4″ center, Eric Luko, is ineligible due to academics, which will hurt the Nichols Vikings. This may be the last game in green and white for senior, Tom Noonan, I expect him to play hard and refusing for his high school basketball career to end against O’Hara.
The Hawks and Vikings met twice this year. O’Hara beat Nichols at Nichols, 53-50, then Nichols beat O’Hara in O’Hara, 62-48.
My prediction for the game? Nichols beats Cardinal O’Hara. The Freshmen Phenoms, Chris Miner, Cam Lewis, and Tanner Schmit, will lead the Vikings to the Bernard J. Kennedy Field House. Junior, Liam Ryan, is a threat from the three point line and will hit plenty of threes this Thursday.
As I said before, the winner of the game will take on the #1 seed, Canisius Crusaders in front of a hostile Blue Crew crowd. This will be a very tough game for whoever wins this game as Adam Weir, Matt Hart, Matt MacDonald, and Aaron White seek back to back Manhattan Cup championships.