The SNY Invitational trophy won’t be staying in New York City this year after Cardinal Hayes fell to Long Island Lutheran 76-57 Saturday afternoon in the tournament finale at City College.


“Their size was a little too much for us today,” Hayes head coach Joe Lods said.


It all started so well for Hayes. The Cardinals came out firing and had a 22-14 first quarter lead with senior guard Jontai Williams chipping in 13 of those points. It looked like Williams — and not Lutheran guard Tyson Etienne — would leave Nat Holman Gymnasium with MVP honors.


But Lutheran switched gears in the second quarter and a 10-0 run gave them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Lutheran guard Andre Curbelo found Donatas Kupsas for three straight layups during that spurt.

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Long Island Lutheran Crusaders #1 Tyson Etienne glides in with shot. BBALL: Long Island Lutheran Crusaders vs Cardinal Hayes Cardinals. SNY Invitational. High School Basketball Tournament. City College of New York, Nat Holman Gymnasium. Saturday January 27, 2018 (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News.)

(Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)


Hayes wound up being outscored 25-8 in that second quarter.


“We just couldn’t get over the hump and get to where we needed to go,” Lods said.


Hayes spent the rest of the game playing catch up but never truly threatened Lutheran’s lead, one major reason being a steady flow of turnovers. Lods’ team turned the ball over 20 times during the course of the game.

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Long Island Lutheran Crusaders #1 Tyson Etienne glides in with shot. BBALL: Long Island Lutheran Crusaders vs Cardinal Hayes Cardinals. SNY Invitational. High School Basketball Tournament. City College of New York, Nat Holman Gymnasium. Saturday January 27, 2018 (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News.)

(Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)


After the game, when Etienne’s name was announced as Invitational MVP, a look of surprise crossed the junior guard’s face. It was a stark contrast to his teammates, who immediately mobbed their point guard in celebration.


“This weekend wasn’t one of my best offensive weekends,” Etienne said. “I didn’t shoot the ball too well but I think my team helped me. It was a collective effort.”


It was Etienne’s calming presence that helped him earn an honor that the likes of Lance Stephenson and Khadeen Carrington have been awarded in the past. Etienne finished the Invitational tied for the most minutes played by a Lutheran player and scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, through the two games.

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Long Island Lutheran Crusaders #1 Tyson Etienne scores over defenders. BBALL: Long Island Lutheran Crusaders vs Cardinal Hayes Cardinals. SNY Invitational. High School Basketball Tournament. City College of New York, Nat Holman Gymnasium. Saturday January 27, 2018 (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News.)

(Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)


While Etienne and Lutheran head back to Long Island with some new silverware, Lods is confident his team will be just fine going forward.


“The (Cardinals are) resilient and we will be back,” he said.


In the consolation game, Hudson Catholic defeated Archbishop Molloy, 83-64.


HC’s Jahvon Quinerly led all scorers with 37 points and pitched in seven assists.


Molloy’s Cole Anthony notched 17 points a day after scoring 34 in Molloy’s semifinal loss to Hudson Catholic.

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