If you delve into the stat sheet, there are two numbers perhaps most telling about Trinity Catholic’s disappointing 52-49 loss to Woodstock Academy in today’s CIAC Class L championship game.
- 29. That is how many 3 point shots the Crusaders attempted.
- 0-0. Those were Schadrac Casimir’s numbers from the foul line.
The comparison in no way suggests that Casimir, who had the misfortune of having his worst performance on the final night of what has been a truly spectacular season, is the reason for the loss. Casimir wrongfully took the blame in the locker room after the game.
But the numbers are evidence of what the Crusaders did wrong as a whole today. They fell behind 8-0 at the outset, then attacked a very, very good Centaurs zone as if they had never seen one before. Trinity settled for outside shots. And as the game got deeper, the selection got worse.
Casimir is a dynamic player who can score in a variety of ways — Trinity coach Mike Walsh said by telephone on the bus ride home that he is almost certain his star guard’s 722 points are the most ever by a player in a season in school history — and slashing to the basket is one of them. But except for a floater that gave the Crusaders their second and final lead of the night in the final quarter, Casimir was passive against the Centaurs’ 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones.
Casimir was hardly alone. He took 14 3-point attempts. Tremaine Fraiser attempted 12. The Crusaders took 57 shots: 28 regular field goal attempts and 29 3-pointers. That is a bad formula for success.
Casimir was 16 for 19 from the foul line against Wilbur Cross. What made him unstoppable was the variety of ways in which he can score. To Woodstock Academy coach Greg Smith’s credit, he said the game plan was to take away paths to the basket and make the Crusaders beat his team from the outside.
Trinity attempted just nine free throws. That’s about a normal half for the team.
The storyline coming in was the Centaurs’ inside might against Trinity’s superior athleticism and backcourt play. The Crusaders actually minimized the first after a slow start; they were only outrebounded 41-33 and actually had an 11-6 lead in second-chance points.
While the Crusaders forced 13 turnovers and were successful with their pressure, it seemed like they were taking their speedy sports car and trying not to exceed the speed limit.
One of the many reasons the Trinity players will spend the rest of the night with a case of the “What ifs.”