The Vianney Golden Griffins were fortunate to knock off Chaminade 61-57 on Dec. 21.
On Friday, the Red Devils celebrated Senior Night at the Chaminade Athletictron, and a balanced, focused Red Devils squad got payback against the Golden Griffins with little trouble.
Powered by strong defense, an uptempo pace, and double figure scoring from four players, Chaminade rolled to a 97-62 victory that clinched another Metro Catholic Conference championship.
It was perfect way for Chaminade seniors Jerricole Hellems, Henry Gladson, Jordan Rayner, Colin Stolze, and Jadis White to close out their careers at home.
“It feels good. It’s a good feeling and though it’s kind of bittersweet to end it playing it here but it’s been a good run and now we’ve got to start to focus on another state run,” Hellems said.
“These seniors are unselfish and a testament to what we preach,” Chaminade coach Frank Bennett said. “I’m really proud of them.”
Hellems, Gladson, Rayner, Stolze, and White got the start and had the Red Devils rolling early as Gladson hit a jumper and White nailed a pair of three-balls, pushing Chaminade (19-4, 6-1) to a quick 8-0 lead.
The Red Devils pushed the lead to 48-32 with 1:44 left in the second quarter on a Hellems put back and three-ball. Hellems led balanced attack for Chaminade with 21 points after a slow start. White scored 16 points, Gladson had 16 points, and Luke Kasubke added 13.
“Those teams are fun to coach,” Bennett said. “You’re talking about guys that share, the ball, pass the ball, and are really looking for a good shot.”
“It’s always good to have somebody that works everyday and can make shots,” Hellems said. “I trust my guys and know we can get it done.”
Vianney (13-10, 3-4) used a 6-0 run in the final 1:44 of the first half to get back into it. Senior guard C.J. Paul’s three-pointer from the left baseline at the halftime buzzer cut the lead to 48-42.
Paul was a major bright spot on a tough night for the Griffins as he poured in a game and career-high 41 points.
“That’s a school record he broke, it was Trent Green’s record he broke from 30 years ago when he scored 40,” Vianney coach Kevin Walsh said. “CJ is capable of that and he came out hunting his shot, knocked them down and to his credit he continued to hunt them, so I was really happy for him.”
Junior forward Colin Braun was also strong for Vianney with 19 points.
Hellems, who is North Carolina State bound next fall, heated up in the third quarter scoring a three-ball, an acrobatic alley-oop jam, and a slicing up and in two to push the Red Devils lead to 58-44.
“I just tried to refocus after the first half and take it to the rim and not worry about what happened earlier,” Hellems said.
Chaminade broke the 90-point mark with just over two minutes to go. It was the ninth time the Red Devils have done that this winter.
The Red Devils will head to Sikeston next Thursday for tough nonconference game before beginning play in the Class 5, District 3 tournament play the week of Feb. 26 at Ritenour.
Another trip to the Class 5 Tournament will be foremost on the Red Devils minds after next week.
“I believe can get back to state,” Hellems said.