Joe Manfredi recorded a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, leading Regis to its second straight CHSAA B Division title by topping Salesian 43-40 at Fordham University in the Bronx on Friday night.
The Eagles had the Raiders on the ropes late in the third, taking a 28-23 lead after Nokio Kennedy found Mark Nilaj underneath at the 3:00 mark, but struggles from the foul line left the door open for Regis. Salesian had a chance to stretch its margin to seven with a pair of free throws late in the quarter, but after missing both, Conor Nicholson bounced in a long 3-pointer for Regis to make it two point game at 28-26 with 1:35 to play in the frame. After converting 4 of 7 free throw attempts in the first half, the Eagles went 0-4 in the third quarter and 0-5 in the second half. The woes from the stripe notwithstanding, Salesian still took a 30-26 lead into the fourth after a driving score by Joel Garcia.
Regis tied the game at 34 when Andy Vittoria scored along the baseline after recovering a bobbled pass, and Salesian called a timeout to regroup with 4:20 left.
Manfredi's 3-pointer with 2:57 to play gave Regis the lead at 37-34, and now it was the Raiders calling for time, with Manfredi rousing the crowd amid the shift in momentum. Salesian came within inches of tying the game at 37 on two occasions, but 3-point attempts by Elijah Woods and Nilaj rolled in and out, and Regis stretched its lead to 39-34 on a leaner by Manfredi. Garcia brought Salesian within three twice down the stretch, making it 39-36 on a pull up jumper with 1:21 left and 41-38 on a driving score with 18.4 seconds remaining, but William Eastwick sealed it for Regis with two free throws after he caught a long baseball pass from Vittoria and was fouled in the frontcourt.
Salesian outrebounded Regis 42-31 and held the Raiders to just 13 baskets in the game on 28.9% shooting, but free throws negated these feats. Salesian was just 4-12 from the line while Regis went 11 for 16. Manfredi and Garcia, who finished with 11 points for Salesian, were the only players to score in double figures in the game.
This is the fourth time that Regis has won back-to-back CHSAA B Division titles and the third time the Raiders have done it under Head Coach Kevin Cullen. Regis also won consecutive B crowns in 1992/1993, 2005/2006 and 2014/2015.