Nick Johnson scored 28 points, 19 in the second half, as All Hallows topped LaSalle Academy 73-59 in CHSAA A Division action in Manhattan on Tuesday night.
Both teams are new to the CHSAA's A Division, with All Hallows moving down after enduring the gruelling ranks of the of the AA over the past few seasons and LaSalle stepping up after becoming a perennial powerhouse in the B.
While most visiting teams have difficulty navigating the cozy dimensions of LaSalle's gym, All Hallows, perhaps due to its familiarity with the tight confined of its home court on 164th Street, led for much of the first sixteen minutes. An offensive spurt by LaSalle at the end of the half put the Cardinals ahead 36-32, with Josiah Chandler connecting on a 3-pointer that just beat the halftime horn.
Johnson took over in the second half, getting most of his points around the rim, highlighted by a coast-to-coast, jaw-dropping one-handed dunk through defensive traffic. Devin Diaz complimented Johnson's effort with 21 points for the Gaels, while Chandler scored 19 and Jimmy Romero 18 for LaSalle.
All Hallows will host Kennedy Catholic in the Bronx on Friday night, when LaSalle will host St. Edmund.
The CHSAA A Division promises to be a competitive league this year. Fordham Prep ousted AA contender Iona Prep in overtime on Tuesday night and former Lincoln head coach and grassroots guru Tiny Morton has taken the reins at Nazareth, the defending CHSAA A champs.