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Tigers Sports

Linden-St. Patrick UCT game moved

Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 by BY MIKE KINNEY, FOR THE STAR-LEDGER

Linden-St. Patrick UCT game moved to Thursday (High school Boys Basketball news)

Monday February 23, 2009, 12:52 PM

Linden coach Phil Colicchio placed humanity before winning and asked yesterday that his team's Union County Tournament game against St. Patrick tonight be postponed two days to allow opposing coach Kevin Boyle, grieving the death of his brother, to be at sidecourt for the contest.
Executive director Tom Lewis complied after consulting with all involved parties and moved that semifinal game between top-seeded St. Patrick, No. 1 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, and fifth-seeded Linden to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Elizabeth's Dunn Center.
The other semifinal, pitting second-seeded and third-ranked Plainfield and third-seeded and 12th-ranked Elizabeth, will be played as originally scheduled at 7:30 tomorrow night at Dunn. The championship is still 3 p.m. Saturday at Dunn.
Boyle's older brother, Neil, died Sunday at a Scotch Plains hospice after a long struggle with cancer. He was 48. The wake services will be held tomorrow evening, which meant both the coach and son Kevin Jr., a starting guard, would not have been in attendance for the game. St. Patrick also is without star sophomore forward Mike Gilchrist, who suffered a broken foot in a Friday practice.
Lewis offered high praise to Colicchio for his gesture, but the successful Linden coach said he never gave it another thought.
``I would hope anybody in that situation would do something like that. If you wouldn't, there's really something wrong with you,'' Colicchio said. ``High school basketball is very small when you look at it through the whole scope of life.
``This would not just affect Kevin, but also his son and everyone else at St. Pat's,'' he said. ``St. Pat's was all in favor of playing the game as scheduled, but no way. And everyone at Linden has supported my decision.''
The move was set into place after Colicchio called Lewis early Monday morning once learning of Neil Boyle's death. Lewis was in a delicate situation himself as the brother-in-law of the Boyle brothers.
``Phil is the one who asked for this move. I knew I couldn't initiate a thing because it involved too many other people,'' Lewis said. ``Phil said family came first in this matter and so I tried to honor his request as executive director of the tournament. He shows a lot of character by doing things this way, and so does Steve Yesinko (Linden athletic director) and everyone else in Linden.''
Surprising Linden (13-11) advanced to the semifinals with a 65-60 upset over fourth-seeded and 17th-ranked Union Saturday at Roselle Catholic. Sophomore guard Elijah Hodge led the spirited effort with 20 of his 22 points in the second half. St. Patrick (22-2), ranked sixth nationally in USA Today, coasted to a 75-37 victory over Roselle behind a 24-point outing from junior guard Kyrie Irving.
Linden shocked St. Patrick, then No. 1 nationally, by claiming the 2007 UCT crown with a 63-51 victory. St. Patrick went on to win its fourth Tournament of Champions crown the following month. St. Patrick exacted revenge over Linden in last year's UCT final, 67-56.

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