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Molloy advances to CHSAA Semis with 68-61 win over Iona Prep

Khalid Moore had 16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals, guiding Archbishop Molloy into the CHSAA semifinals despite playing the final minutes without standout point guard Cole Anthony, who fouled out with 2:31 left.

The Stanners held a 56-49 cushion when Anthony departed, but Romar Reid made two free throws, stole the ball on the next possession and then found Jacob Hargraves for a layup, making it a one possession game at 56-53 with just 2:20 left. Moore took control on the next possession, driving the length of the court and hitting a contested runner in the lane to put Molloy back in front by five at 58-53. 

The Stanners regained possession, but nearly turned it over again before a fortitous bounce put the ball in the hands of Elijah Blackman, whose driving layup gave Molloy a seven point lead again at 60-53. Moore was fouled after intercepting a pass on Iona Prep's next possession, all but sealing it for the Stanners.

Anthony carried Molloy's offense in the first half, scoring 11 points and giving the Stanners their largest lead of the game at 31-18 on a pull-up 3-pointer at the 2:54 mark. 

Iona Prep opened the second half on a 7-0 run, trimming the margin to 37-33 on a pair of free throws by Souleymane Koureissi. Molloy jumped back in front by nine at 44-35 after Moore's steal and dunk with 2:45 left in the third, but the Gaels cut the lead to 46-42 on Reid's 3-pointer heading into the fourth.

Both teams had to manage foul trouble down the stretch, with Anthony, Moore, Koureissi and Bryce Wills of Iona Prep all playing with four personals early in the fourth.

Moore made his free throws in the final minutes, connecting on 10-12 for the game and reaching the 1,000 point career milestone in the process.

Anthony finished with a game-high 21 points, while Moses Brown had 14 points and 7 rebounds for Molloy.

While depth has been an achilles heel for the Stanners at times this season, Deonte Benejan (8) and Elijah Blackman (7) gave Molloy a nice boost in this one, combining for 15 bench points.

Reid led Iona Prep with 19 points and Wills finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds.

Molloy will face Archbishop Stepinac in the CHSAA semifinals on Wednesday at Carnesecca Arena, a rematch of last year's semifinal on the same court. Coincidentally, it was Moore's free throw that was the difference in that game after a controversial foul in the last second.

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