In a battle of respected Queens programs, PSAL representative Benjamin Cardozo High School knocked off CHSAA member Archbishop Molloy 75-62 in the Big Apple Classic at Baruch College on Sunday.
Cardozo received an inspired performance from 5-foot-11, 160 pound senior point guard/lead guard Mike Troll. Troll, a transfer from LaSalle Academy in Manhattan, pumped in 25 points, shooting 5-for-6 from behind the arc.
Troll helped Cardozo to an early lead in the first quarter, ripping off 11 points, including three three-pointers and a baseline pull-up. The wiry senior is a poised backcourt player who is terrific shooting off of the catch. When he catches fire, he can drill triples in bunches.
"On the next level, he's the point guard who can hit the shot," said Cardozo coach Ron Naclerio. "You've got some point guards out there who are great players, but they can't shoot. You have to guard him. He can really shoot the ball."
Djibril Coulibaly also played a key role in Cardozo's fast start. The 6-foot-8, 200 pound power forward/center is a junior transfer from Upper Room Christian School on Long Island.
A perimeter player at Upper Room, he roves the low post for Cardozo. On Sunday, the native of Bamako, Mali, was dominant on the glass in the first half, using his considerable springs and quick leaping ability to snare 13 first half rebounds. He provided a good deal of energy at the outset.
Molloy, coached by the legendary Jack Curran, was steadied by its guard play. 6-foot-2, 160 pound junior shooting guard Rocco Rubino, a wiry jumpshooter, contributed 18 points and nine rebounds. The native of Brooklyn has received early feelers from programs like Fairfield and Rhode Island.
Iona signee Milan Prodanovic, returning from an ankle injury, gave the Stanners a lift with his heady play and shooting stroke. The 6-foot-1 combo guard contributed 17 points and three assists. He may not have been at 100%, but turned in a strong effort nonetheless.
Others, like 6-foot-4 senior forward Kevin Garland, provided valuable contributions and dirty work for Molloy, helping the Stanners to climb back into the game. Ultimately they fell to a team with greater size, depth, and athleticism.