Trinity Catholic's boys basketball team went into the Class M tournament seeded just 18th, finished the regular season with just 12 wins, and needed to win its last regular season game just to qualify for the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference tournament.
Saturday, the Crusaders wrote the perfect ending to a most unusual season, defeating top-seeded Career Magnet, 57-51, at Mohegan Sun. It was Trinity's sixth state title in 11 trips to the championship game and the first since 2004.
Kevin Lemuene scored 17 points to lead the Crusaders, while Jonathan Boykin added 14.
Trinity led 28-23 at halftime before Career (25-3) rallied to tie the game at 40-40 late in the third quarter. Trinity took a 42-40 lead into the final quarter, and put the game away with a 15-11 surge. Boykin and Lemuene had three 3-pointers apiece for the Crusaders, who also got critical offensive contributions from Schadrac Casimir and Brandon Wheeler (eight points each). Trinity’s 7-foot-1 freshman center Pascal Chidiebere-Chukwu made an impact late in the game with inside defense and rebounding. He also altered several shots by Career.
Trinity qualified for the FCIAC tournament by defeating Wilton in its final regular season game. Trinity then upset top-seeded St. Joseph in the first round of the FCIAC tournament, and lost to eventual champion Bassick in the semifinals. It won five straight road games in the playoffs, including victories over No. 2 Nonnewaug, No. 3 Notre Dame of Fairfield, No. 10 Bethel and No. 15 Brookfield.
Are you surprised Trinity Catholic won the state basketball title? Start the discussion below!