Holy Cross H.S. - Lancers Basketball: Team News -- Grad Updates

Friday, February 3
BCT article on Hoy Cross Grad Justin Swidowski

Swidowski adjusts to higher level











By Phil Chappine Staff Writer Calkins 






By BCT Phil Chappine Staff Writer

Justin Swidowski spent two basketball seasons as an inside force for Holy Family University. He left after his sophomore year and former rivals may not have been sad to see him leave NCAA Division 2.

The 6-foot-9 Swidowski headed north to Bridgeport, Conn., and Sacred Heart University. He sat out last season (NCAA regulation) as a transfer from Division 2 to a Division 1 program. His career resumed this season and he's made an impact as a junior at Sacred Heart, a member of the Northeast Conference.

Swidowski, a 2008 graduate of Holy Cross High School, is starting for Sacred Heart. He recently missed three games because of a shoulder injury, then returned to the lineup Jan. 28 and played 26 minutes in an 81-80 loss to Mount St. Mary's. Swidowski had 10 points and five rebounds.

Prior to being hurt — four minutes into the game — against St. Francis (Pa.), Swidowski had started 18 of 19 games. He already had two rebounds in the early going of what became a 71-68 win for Sacred Heart. He leads the Pioneers in rebounding (5.5 per game) and blocked shots (22 total), and is second in scoring (11.6 points).

His best games include an 82-80 overtime loss to Central Connecticut in which he had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Swidowski had 14 points and 11 rebounds in a 71-60 loss to, of all teams, Holy Cross.

That game may have brought back some memories. The College of Holy Cross is the Crusaders and Swidowski was a Lancer in high school. As a senior, he made All-Burlington County after leading Holy Cross to a 18-9 record.

Swidowski averaged 17.8 points that season and finished his career with 1,079. He had Division 1 options but family issues (health-related) led him to stay close to his Cinnaminson home. That's how and why he wound up in northeast Philadelphia at Holy Family.

He averaged 16.1 points and 8 rebounds as a freshman, earning Rookie of the Year honors in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference and ECAC Division 2. The next year saw Swidowski average 24.1 points and 9.9 rebounds, resulting in a first-team all-CACC selection.

Monday, March 8
Recap of the 2010 Season.

Recap of 2010 Season.

The Lancers finished their season losing 42-28 to a Gloucester Catholic team that did all the right things that a home team is suppose to do in a playoff game. They had their fan support. (The best we saw this year). They executed enough to get the job done. They hit their foul shots and they kept the Lancers off balance most of the game with their changing defenses. But to Holy Cross's credit, they never gave up. They fought the elements once again of a hostile environment, the obvious home cooking refereeing which bordered on criminal and their own "Achilles Heel" of not shooting well from the line and also some poor shooting from the field.  Even though the Lancers were outscored  in every period, the game was much closer than the score indicates. Holy Cross made several runs at Gloucester Catholic but just when you thought that it was time to make the move, Gloucester seemed to have an answer or the Lancers failed to convert from the line.

The season that we all were waiting for.........is now over.

It did end on a sour note but it didn't end sadly and without merit. One must not forget the road that the Lancers took to get to the quarterfinal match up.

The season of excitement, of anticipation, was immediately tested on the second day of practice when starting shooting guard Nick O'Brien went down with was eventually a season ending injury. The season then officially opened with 7 straight loses. It wasn't fun. For whatever reason the team just didn't play well. Coaches tried various different lineups and combinations but nothing seemed to work until St. Joseph Hammonton came to town sporting a 5-2 record and a big man in the middle. All the hard work, all the planning and scouting by the coaching staff and the players started to pay off as Holy Cross won its first game that night, hitting 7 three's with Joe Kane leading the Lancers with 16 points while Lloyd Smith had 12 points off the bench with 11 coming in the 2nd quarter, including three 3-pt FGs. Chris Keating chipped in with 9 points. It was a very good game played by the Lancers and it signal the beginning of a very nice stretch that saw the Lancers go 11-8 over a 19 game span including the memorable fantastic win at St. Joseph's in the playoffs. Sandwiched in between the two St. Joseph win's (yep....you can say we owned them...this year) were some real nice wins over cross town rival Delran (twice) where the Lancers scored a season high 65 points in the first game with Junior forward Kyle Semmel scoring a career high 15 points along with Seniors Joe Kane (14 points), Jerrod Cain (11 points) and Chris Keating (11 points). Then Holy Cross ran off 3 more wins in a row including a win over Bordentown which saw Joe Kane score a career high 22 points including 4 three's. Kristoff Smith also recorded a career high 15 point game. Holy Cross then played maybe its best game of the year against Medford Tech team at home where the Lancers fought tooth and nail against one of the better teams in South Jersey before falling 65-61. It was an excellent effort that saw the Lancers led by Seniors Joe Kane (13 points) and Chris Keating (12 points). Holy Cross followed up the Med Tech game with 5 wins in a row before losing to Willingboro and Cinnaminson before their playoff game with St. Joseph's that saw Holy Cross travel into hostile territory for their 1st round Playoff Game. If you haven't read the game summary for this game, please do but to recap, the Lancers really did us proud with their never say die attitude starting with the coaching staff right on down to the players and fans. We were the visiting team, but it is safe to say that we owned that gym on that particular night. On the shoulders of Chris Keating who single handedly forced overtime with a clutch shot and then hit the shot to win the game and the stellar play fellow seniors Jerod Cain, Joe Kane and Brendan Reilly along with some great bench play, the Lancers gave the Holy Cross faithful a look at what everyone thought the season was suppose to be like the entire year. It is safe to say that good things come to those who wait. This game will be remembered by many of the Holy Cross faithful as well as the coaching staff and players for many years to come.

Congratulation's go out to the entire coaching staff and to the players for a great year.

The season ending banquet is set for March 21st at the Knights of Columbus on Bridgeboro Rd at 6 pm. Don't miss it! (4075)