As Calvary Christian continues their historic season, they had to take care of business in the Class 3A Regional final against Santa Fe Catholic, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year.
The contest got off to a close start with Santa Fe Catholic’s Alvin Tumblin Jr catching alley-oop dunks left and right, but the loaded Calvary Christian roster would be too much to handle for the Hawks. With four players scoring in double digits, Calvary (15-8) dominated in their 75-58 victory.
“We’ve been talking about since day one that it’s not about how many points you score it’s about the team win,” head coach Cilk McSweeney told 305 Sports. “They’ve been buying into that and they are all happy. They love playing with each other and that’s what it’s all about.”
At least six players on the Calvary Christian roster hold a Divison I offer, which can make coaching decisions challenging at times. For McSweeney, his experience playing in the Big Ten Conference at Penn State has been helpful this season. And by being surrounded by top talent, McSweeney understands exactly what the players want.
“I’ve been around a lot of good players. I know what they expect, I know what they like, and I know what their focus is, and the biggest thing is they want to get better and they want to play on that stage,” he said. “All these guys have bought into it.”
Calvary Christian won the 3A state championship in 2017, but no active players on this year’s roster were on that team. And for senior Dylan Canoville, a lot of work has been put in to get Calvary back to the promised land.
“Countless hours and countless summers with these boys,” Canoville said. “5:00 AM ‘s with Carl [Cherefant], Gregg [Glenn], it’s amazing.”
The next task at hand will be against another South Florida team, Miami Country Day, in the 3A state semi-final. The Spartans (12-9) are on a seven-game win streak have garnered notable victories over Chaminade-Madonna and Archbishop Carroll during their playoff run.
“Kill, just kill. We’re going to lock in and just kill,” Canoville said about Wednesday’s matchup.
The Eagles have lost just one game to a South Florida opponent all season — Westminster Christian. And riding on a five-game win streak, Calvary’s prolonged hopes of capturing a state title may soon be met.
“It’s going to be hard to beat Calvary Christian,” McSweeney said. “We practice so hard and we develop our guys and their mindset’s to be able to make it tough on a team for 32 minutes no matter if they’re the number one team in the nation or not even a good district team. So their mindset is to play hard every single day so whoever we play, we will be ready for them”