By, Drew Peltzman

January 10, 2023

The Notre Dame Irish defended homecourt in a Colonial Valley Conference thriller, defeating Hopewell Valley 35-32.

Senior guard Chris Vlahos spearheaded the Notre Dame offense with 19 points, and scored the team’s last 11 points of the game. The electric run included a go ahead three with just seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

“He hit some big shots down the stretch for us and got a little bit of that confidence back,” Notre Dame head coach Tim Stevens said. “That’s really what we need right now.”

The Irish’s offensive struggles were evident in the first half, consistently feeding 6’7 center Stesh Mathelier in heavy traffic yielded sporadic results, often leading to easy steals and transition points for Hopewell Valley.

The Bulldog’s Kevin Ellis finished with 16 points and remained effective up until the middle of the third quarter, the same time that Vlahos took over.

The offensive firepower Vlahos displayed left Hopewell Valley with no answers, only being able to put up four points in the midst of his quarter-long run. His baseline drives were quick and pure,  but it was his second three point shot that proved the difference in the contest.

“I couldn’t be prouder for the effort they give every single night, whether its at a practice or a game,” Stevens said. “I know that they are going to work hard and do it together, and different guys are going to step up each night – It’s a great thing to have.”

With the victory, Notre Dame moves to (7-4) on the season and (5-1) in the CVC. Hopewell Valley falls to (4-5) on the season and (2-4) in the CVC.