However, head coach Tim Leary made an adjustment in the second half and removed Cavataio's responsibilities of chasing the talented Walsh all over the court. It paid big dividends for both Cavataio and St. Francis Prep in its battle with All Hallows High School.
Cavataio scored 19 of his game-high 26 points in the second half to lift St. Francis Prep to a come-from-behind victory, 56-46, in the first round of the CHSAA intersectional playoffs held at the gym of Holy Cross High School in Queens.
All Hallows steamed out to a 16-8 lead, despite not having the offensive skills of lead guard Chris De la Rosa, who was suspended from the team recently.
Walsh and backcourt teammate Ty Johnson produced 14 of the 16 points in the first quarter. Each scored seven points.
However, a gritty effort late in the second quarter helped Prep tie the game at the half at 23-23.
It was the third quarter that became the key for St. Francis Prep. After making the defensive adjustment with Cavataio and switching up to a zone during portions of the third quarter, the Terriers advanced to a 40-29 advantage.
Cavataio scored nine of his points in the third quarter alone. He moved smartly without the ball and his teammates hit in the paint with crisp passes. On three occasions, Cavataio used his athletic skills to jump over his defenders for baskets in the lane.
Jason Philippe was very instrumental in helping the Terriers win too. He had 12 points for the winners. But give credit to the entire Prep team. Cavataio got hot and each of the players on the floor looked to get him the touches.
Walsh finished the game with 16 points while Johnson added 14 points.