Hudson Valley Sports Report

OLL IN THE FINAL 4: HOW JOE HEAVEY STEPPED UP HIS GAME

After A Rough Start, Lourdes Standout Has Become Invaluable

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

BINGHAMTON — Our Lady of Lourdes High School boys basketball coach Jim Santoro runs a meritocracy. The better you play in practice and in games the more minutes you get.

And these were the minutes for guard Joe Heavey in the first eight games of the year for the Warriors — 14, 14, 6, 2, 2, 6, 2, and 3.

“When we went to Joe early in the season in the sixth man role, he didnt perform well,” Santoro said. “That forced us to go a little deeper, looking for a sixth man and we wound up going to other guards for depth. Joe’s time was cut significantly.”

Yeah, well, you know how the old saying goes.

That was then, this is now.

Here are Heavey’s minutes after that tough eight-game start — 17, 29, 29, 28, 16, 18, 15, 27, 27, 27, 28, 27, 14, 27, 15 and 30.

He’s become an invaluable member of the starting five as he helps lead the Warriors into Saturday’s New York State Class A Final Four at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton.


SATURDAY
STATE SEMIFINALS
Irondequoit vs. Jamesville-Dewitt, 9 a.m.
Lourdes vs. Southhampton, 10:45 a.m.
SUNDAY
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Semifinal Winners, Noon


Heavey said he absolutely recalls the disappointing start to the season.

“In the beginning of the year, I put pressure on myself to do everything perfectly and I was getting into my own head,” he said. “But when John Arceri sprained his ankle, coach gave me the opportunity that I was looking for and I just played my game.”

Indeed, when Arceri went down in the Hendrick Hudson game with the ankle injury, and then sprained the other ankle weeks later, Santoro went back to Heavey.

And Heavey responded.

“Joe did a great job earning a second chance,” Santoro said. “During the time John was out he became a more confident shooter, and his hustle just won the day. That’s what Joe brings every day to practice and games.  As he gained my confidence in his shooting, he became even more determined by spending extra hours getting up extra shots after practice.”

Santoro wasn’t the only one who noticed.

“Joe is the Dennis Rodman of our team in a sense. He’s the hustle guy and the emotion guy behind our play,” senior teammate Corey Mullaly said. “When Joe hits a 3 it ignites our team and really gets us going. And then on the defensive end, if there’s a loose ball you can be sure Joe’s diving on head first.”

Heavey had 12 critical points in the state quarterfinal win over Poughkeepsie that landed the first Final Four spot in school history.

“Joe knew he had to step up and we knew he could do it,” guard Aidan Hilderbrand said. “Ever since then he’s been shooting it great and out-hustling his opponent on every possession.”

There’s that word again, something Heavey embraces.

“I realized that the best thing I could offer this team was hustle,” he said. “Once I focused on playing as hard as I could I began knocking down more and more of my shots.”
And now, working in tandem with Arceri, it’s made OLL an even more dangerous team.
“John Arceri is an essential part of this team. He came up huge in our victory over Byram Hills while I was not playing my best game,” Heavey said. “We would not be here without him.”

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