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ArlingtonO'Connell's season ends in state semifinals

O’Connell’s season ends in state semifinals

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The third-seeded Bishop O’Connell Knights (18-13) had their boys basketball season end March 4 with an 85-57 loss to the No. 2-seed St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes Saints (20-4) in a semifinal game of the Division I private school state tournament at Virginia State University in Colonial Heights. The win was the Saints’ ninth in a row.

O’Connell finished 1-1 in the high-school competition, routing Benedictine, at O’Connell, in the first round, 87-58.

Against St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, the Knights trailed 18-17 at the end of the first quarter, were down 37-36 at halftime, then 60-46 after three periods.

David Onanina had a double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and a block for the Knights. Cavan Reilly and Jadyn Harris (five points, two steals) were among O’Connell players who made three-pointers in the loss. Machi Chester had six points and two steals. Paul Lewis, Del Jones  and Isaiah Shaw were two other contributors in the game.


Starting forward Christian May was injured and did not play.

The Knights did not have a great shooting game – 39 percent from the floor and 54 from the foul line.

“We didn’t play well in the second half and were disappointed we didn’t win,” O’Connell coach Joe Wootten said. “We played a difficult national schedule this season and we were up for the challenge. I think we accomplished a lot of good things.”

During the early season, O’Connell won the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach with a 3-0 record and finished third at the Jerry Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas with a 3-1 mark.

O’Connell had four players on its roster who will play Division I college basketball. May will play at Towson University, Reilly at the University of Delaware, and Lewis and Onanina have not yet made a commitment, but will play at that level.

“From January on, Paul really came on and was outstanding for us,” Wootten said.

The Knights’ Job Grant will play college football at the U.S. Naval Academy.

“We are going to lose some really good seniors. But we are excited about players we have coming back and some of the new players we will be adding,” Wootten said.

NOTES: O’Connell last played in the state tourney in the 2018-19 season, also losing to champion St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes in the semis . . . Paul VI Catholic defeated St. Stephen’s, 56-52, in this season’s March 5 state final. O’Connell was 2-0 against Paul VI this season, winning two close regular-season contests.

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