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Xaverian Beats Stepinac

Posted Saturday, December 24, 2011 by nypost

Dillon Burns Stepinac, Xaverian wins league opener

Last Updated: 6:18 AM, December 24, 2011

Posted: 1:23 AM, December 24, 2011


Xaverian coach Jack Alesi told Tim Philp, the opposing head man, that Dillon Burns would be an all-league first team player if the season ended today – he’s been that good.

“He’s playing at such a high level,” Alesi said. “He’s scoring out of necessity, he’s defending, he’s running the team. And he brings an intelligence to the game.”

Alesi is one of the most calculated coaches in the city. But he wasn’t bluffing. He showed his hand and there was nothing Stepinac could do about it.

With the Crusaders paying close attention to SMU-bound star Brian Bernardi, Burns went off for 20 points in Xaverian’s 65-64 win over Archbishop Stepinac in CHSAA Class AA boys basketball Friday night in White Plains. Burns was 4-of-6 from 3-point range and had seven huge points in the fourth quarter. The C.W. Post-bound point guard had three steals, playing tenacious defense.

Denis Gostev
Xaverian's Dillon Burns had 20 points against Stepinac.
Photos: Christ the King tabs former NFL player Allison as next caoch
Denis Gostev
Xaverian's players celebrate their victory over Stepinac .
Photos: Christ the King tabs former NFL player Allison as next caoch

“When they play me so tight, they forget about Dillon,” Bernardi said. “He gets easy shots, open shots. That’s what he’s been doing – he’s been knocking them down.”

Burns responded with a jumper when Tyler Iacuone got Stepinac within 51-48 with 5:25 left and then drained a 3-pointer to extend the Xaverian lead to 58-50 with 3:43 left. Alesi said if teams think Burns is just a 3-point shooter or just a pass-first point guard, they are going to get, well, burned.

“I think I had to play a bigger role this year on this team,” Burns said. “I feel like last year we had more weapons. We had Travis Gill, Manny Thomas. We had more athletic players. I really just had to hit a 3 and defend. Now this year I have to run the team, score when we need me and still hit guys when they’re open.”

A pair of inexperienced players made the most of those open chances. Sophomore swingman Rob Rossiter knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:17 left in the game to give Xaverian (4-0, 1-0 ‘AA’) a 61-54 lead, all but putting things out of reach of Stepinac (2-4, 0-3). Junior wing George Lambert had 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

“I think those are the guys that won the game even though I hit some big shots, Brian hit some big shots,” Burns said.

Bernardi finished with 12 points, Xaverian shot 55 percent from the field and an impressive 8-of-14 from 3-point range. Josh James had 19 points, including four 3-pointers, and Quarry Greenway had 10 points and six rebounds, though none in the second half. The Clippers stepped up their rebounding after the break, keeping Greenway and Devino McRae (12 rebounds) off the boards as much as they could. Joseph Dello Russo contributed off the bench on the glass and with eight points.

“We’re not mincing any words,” Alesi said. “We know we don’t rebound the ball. … You just have to outwork the guy.”

Stepinac made a late charge with under a minute left with its press. Malik Omess (eight points) made all three free throws after getting fouled from behind the arc and Iacuone (10 points) had a 3 with 1.4 seconds remaining to make it 65-64. But the Crusaders, playing in front of a raucous, packed home crowd, ran out of time.

“We focused so much on [Bernardi] and we can’t forget about Burns – he’s a very good player,” Philp said. “Not only offensively, but defensively he’s a nightmare on the ball.”

That all-league first team mantle held up Friday night.

“We’re asking him to do a lot,” Alesi said, “and he doesn’t blink an eyelash.”


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/high_school/basketball/dillon_burns_stepinac_xaverian_wins_LyvzyPwo5cLj5TqBWEEJfM#ixzz1hT3N88Vp

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