Brothers need to counter Plainsmen’s balance

Christian Brothers Academy enjoys the underdog role for tonight’s Section II Class AA semifinal game

Christian Brothers Academy enjoys the underdog role for tonight’s Section II Class AA semifinal game with top-seeded Shenendehowa at the Times Union Center, but coach Dave Doemel isn’t making any excuses for how the Brothers have played this season.

“Shenendehowa is a pretty good team we’re going up against, but I think we’re doing OK. Certainly, the two games the fans are going to see have the makings of real challenging ballgames,” said Doemel.

The other half of the double-header pits independent Albany Academy against Big 10 champion Bishop Maginn.

Although the 21-1 Plainsmen don’t have any superstars, they could be the most balanced offensive team among Section II’s large schools.

“They have such great shooters,” said Doemel. “The No. 1 thing is to keep them from open looks on the perimeter. They can knock it down from almost anywhere. It might not be one guy all the time, but they can all knock it down. Plus, they do a great job of running Tony’s [Shenendehowa coach Tony Dzikas] offense. They are very disciplined. That’s

going to be our challenge — to try to get at a very disciplined team. They set excellent screens, and they use each other very well. They can drive to the basket, too.

“A kid like [Doug] Milvaney does it one game for them, and then [Matt] Miner does it for them in another game. That’s the key to their success. They have four, five or six guys who can be their leading scorer any given night. That’s the tough thing for us.”

But CBA (19-3) played a tough schedule that included a pair of losses to the Griffins and another in a non-league game to Long Island Lutheran.

“When you lose two games to Bishop Maginn, you can’t be ashamed of yourself,” Doemel said. “But the second time we lost to them, we were disappointed in our effort. The first game was a really good ballgame. The game we lost to Long Island Lutheran in the Martin Luther King Classic was also a bit disappointing, because we were ahead after a quarter and ahead at the half. We kind of kicked it over in the third quarter, and then we lost it in the fourth quarter. They’re a good ball club, too. I don’t think it’s a disgrace to lose to the two teams we lost to. The thing is you want to gain from that. I hope we learned something about ourselves. We have to be mentally tough, and not have empty trips down the court.”

Doemel said the Brothers have realistic goals against the Plainsmen.

“We can’t shut them down, but we’ll try to make them work for everything. It’s hard when guys can shoot from the range they can shoot. That type of team has several options, and we need to recognize that. What we want to do is make them work as much as we can and then sustain it on the other end. We’ve got to get good shots every time down the floor.”

Kameron Ritter is CBA’s scoring leader at 16.5 points per game. Andrew Stire (10.7 ppg) and Galal Cancer (10.5 ppg) are other top threats.

Shenendehowa’s leading scorer is Miner (14.7 ppg), but the Plainsmen also have Milvaney (9.9 ppg), Dan Lee (8.4 ppg), Ryan Murphy (6.5 ppg) and Matt Lee (5.1 ppg), among others.

In the other semifinal, Bishop Maginn (18-3) squares off against Albany Academy (21-1) in a matchup of Section II’s top two scoring teams.

The Cadets, who average 76 points per game, are paced by Jamel Fields (21.0 ppg) and Ty Foster (14.7 ppg), and they get plenty of help on the boards from 6-foot-9 center Chris Pelcher.

Bishop Maginn, which averages 73.9 ppg, is topped by Taran Buie’s 18.7 ppg.

In Class C semifinal action at the Glens Falls Civic Center, Duanesburg (7-11) plays Warrensburg (8-13) at 6:30, and Waterford-Halfmoon (11-9) meets Canajoharie (17-4) at 8.

Categories: High School Sports

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