Three senior starters combined to make their final home game a successful outing for themselves and the Bishop O’Connell Knights on March 2.
Paul Lewis, David Onanina and Cavan Reilly amassed 45 points, 14 rebounds and six steals to lead the third-seeded Knights (17-12) to an 87-58 victory over the visiting and sixth-seeded Benedictine Cadets of Richmond (21-5) in a quarterfinal boys high-school basketball game of the Division I private-school Virginia state tournament.
O’Connell received a first-round bye is scheduled to play the No. 2-seed St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes Saints (19-3) in a semifinal game tonight, March 4 at 8:45 p.m. at Virginia State University in Colonial Heights. The Saints have won eight straight games.
“This was our last home game, so we wanted to play well,” said Lewis, a guard who scored 19 points, had three rebounds, two assists and a steal and made five three-pointers. “We moved the ball well, got open shots, hit those shots and we played as a team.”
Reilly, also a guard, scored 16 points, had two steals and made four threes.
Onanina is O’Connell’s center. He had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds to go with three steals, a block and a dunk.
Christian May is another senior starter for O’Connell but hedid not play because of a leg injury.
Machi Chester and Jacob Williams (two threes) each scored 10 for O’Connell, Del Jones tallied nine and Shane Lincoln five. The Knights made 14 three-pointers and shot 58 percent from the floor and made 9 of 12 free throws.
O’Connell started fast and controlled teh game from start to finish, leading 53-30 at halftime and 68-44 after three quarters.
“We were focused on sharing the basketball and moving the ball well,” O’Connell coach Joe Wootten said.
O’Connell has to win two more games to win the tournament. The title contest is Saturday, March 5 at 4 p.m. at Virginia State.
“We have to play team basketball, rebound well and execute to win the state,” Wootten said.
Top seed Paul VI Catholic and No. 4 seed Episcopal play in the other semifinal. O’Connell has defeated Paul VI twice this season.
NOTE: O’Connell last played in the state tournament in the 2018-19 season, losing to champion St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes in the semifinals.