CBA coach remembers close call in 2004 semis

Saturday will mark the sixth anniversary of Christian Brothers Academy’s near-upset of Mount Vernon

Saturday will mark the sixth anniversary of Christian Brothers Academy’s near-upset of Mount Vernon in the state Class AA basketball semifinals at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

CBA coach Dave Doemel remembers the game well, both the good and the not so good.

“To this day, I still believe if Josh [Duell] was healthy, we would have won by five,” Doemel said of his 6-foot-7 senior center, who was slowed by an illness in that March 20, 2004 contest against the nation’s No. 8-ranked team. “Even with that, we were right there and we had an opportunity at the end to win it.”

CBA surged to an early lead, let it get away and battled back in what would end in a 52-49 loss to the eventual state public school and Federation champions before a crowd of 4,500. Section I’s Mount Vernon had won five playoff games before that by an average of 39 points.

“We played two great Mount Vernon teams in the semifinals, in 2004 and 2006, but that 2004 team was something else,” Doemel said. “Seven of their guys went to Div­ision I schools, big-time Division I schools. That we were able to stay with them, that’s impressive.”

CBA (22-1) returns to the Civic Center Saturday for a 12:30 state semifinal against Newburgh Free Academy (Section IX, 18-2), while Half Hallow Hills West (Section XI, 23-1) meets Rochester East (Section V, 19-4) in the other at 2:15. The state title game — won by Newburgh Free Academy in 2009 and by Bishop Maginn the year before that — is set for Sunday at 2:45.

“We’ve had a couple of shots at it,” said Doemel, whose 2004 team set a school record with 24 vic­tories. “This year, we’d like to take the next step.”

CBA nearly got it done six years ago after falling behind, 38-30, in the third quarter. The Brothers got within one at 47-46 on a three-point basket by Datwan Hemingway, and again made it a one-point affair on Brian Monahan’s layup, at 50-49.

Shanty Robinson answerd with his own layup with 8.8 seconds left, and CBA’s final two possessions ended with a missed shot and a turnover.

Monahan finished with a game-high 18 points, including a layup that gave CBA a 21-14 second-quarter lead, and eight rebounds. Joe Bova had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Duell, who would go on to play for both Vermont and Siena College, added six points and five rebounds in his limited minutes.

“I told my guys to get your rest,” said Doemel Wednesday after practice, before adding with a chuckle, “and I told them if anyone gets sick, stay away from the rest of the team.”

CBA lost to Mount Vernon in its 2006 semifinal game, 66-47, and earned a return trip with Saturday’s 61-48 regional triumph over Cicero-North Syracuse when Max Weaver scored 18 points and Kam Ritter netted 17.

Newburgh Free Academy got 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists from Mike McLeod in a 62-53 regional win against Mount Vernon.

Semifinals today

Maple Hill (23-1) in Class C and Germantown (18-4) in Class D will play boys’ state semifinal games today at the Glens Falls Civic Center, with the Wildcats meeting Blind Brook (Section I, 16-7) at 1:30 and the Clippers taking on Coleman Catholic (Section IX, 19-2) at 10.

Moravia (Section IV, 21-2) and OTC Middle College (Section VI, 21-1) meet in the other Class C semi at 5. Maple Grove (Section VI, 14-8), with 2,000-point scorer Chris Steky, and New York Mills (Section III, 23-0) meet in the other Class D semi at 11:45. Saturday’s title games are at 7:15 (Class C) and 5:30 (Class D).

In regional play, Maple Hill beat Brushton-Moira behind Chris Despart’s 25 points, 79-58, and Ticonderoga behind Davod Briggs’ 23 points, 68-42, The Wildcats reached their first state final four in 2009 and beat Norwood-Norfolk, 82-57, before losing to Avon, 61-55.

Germantown beat Chateaugay in its regional, 56-48, behind Thomas Griffin’s 22 points, and denied Chateaugay its fifth straight final four appearance.

Harris Mr. Basketball

Half Hallow Hills West standout Tobias Harris has been honored his week with the state’s prest­igious Mr. Basketball award by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York.

Harris is averaging 25 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks entering Saturday’s state Class AA semifinal game with Rochester East. Brandon Triche of Jamesville-DeWitt and Lance Stephenson of Abraham Lincoln shared the 2009 Mr. Basketball award. Section II’s only Mr. Basketball recipient was Shenendehowa’s Greg Koubek, who in 1987 shared the honor with King Rice of Binghamton.

Nizolek all-state

Saratoga Springs senior forward Cody Nizolek has been named to the all-state Division I first team by the New York State High School Hockey Coaches Association.

Nizolek, who produced 16 goals and 26 points for the Blue Streaks (19-5-1), was previously selected to the all-Capital District High School Hockey League team.

Nizolek scored two goals including the game-winner in Saratoga’s 3-1 regional victory against Ithaca, and added another goal in a 4-3 state semifinal triumph over Pittsford. With Nizolek in its lineup, Saratoga won the CDHSHL Div­ision I and Delvecchio Cup championships and its first Section II title since 2000.

Defender Anthony Soprano and forward Kevin Valenti of state small-school runner-up Queensbury made the Division II first team.

Conti Big East-bound

Shaker senior Matt Conti, who anchored the winning 3,200 relay at last weekend’s Nike Indoor Nat­ionals, has signed a letter of intent to compete for Providence College of the Big East.

Conti ran a 1:52.5 finishing leg, and the Blue Bison clocked a 7:48.45 at the prestigious Nike meet, which is the second fastest time in Section II history and the second fastest in the nation this year.

Conti took third in the 600 and anchored Shaker’s third-place 1,600 relay at the state meet at Cornell University.

The middle distance standout helped Shaker win the last two Suburban Council and Section II indoor and outdoor team champ­ionships.

Perfect season

The Cairo-Durham boys’ volleyball team completed a 21-0 season with its recent 3-2 win over Living Word Academy of Section III in the state Class B regionals at Oneida High School.

Coach Chris Hagan’s Cairo-Durham squad captured the Patroon Conference title and beat Ichabod Crane in four games to claim the Section II championship before rallying past Living Word, 28-30, 25-17, 13-25, 25-20, 25-16.

Patroon Conference most val­uable player Andy Fishman led the Mustangs this season with 273 kills to go along with 194 service points and 86 aces. Patroon first-teamer Cory Gransbury totaled 584 assists.

Categories: High School Sports

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