It wasn’t one of those classic Christian Brothers Academy runs, but it was enough.
With a championship opportunity dangling in front of the Brothers, they closed the first half with a mini push and began the second half with another, and defeated Bishop Maginn in a Section II Class AA semifinal game, 57-49, at the Times Union Center Thursday night.
The less-than-spectacular performance kept a sensational streak going as CBA added to its own tournament record by earning a 10th title-game appearance in as many years.
“The guys were a little disappointed. I just told to them, ‘Hey, we’re going to the final,’ ” CBA coach Dave Doemel said after addressing his team. “I think they have it in their minds that they have to play the perfect game all the time. Sometimes, you have to gut ’em out.”
That’s just what the Brothers did in the rubber match between Big 10 teams, building a lead with a handful of clutch baskets, and then defending like crazy as the minutes passed.
“It’s win or go home at this time of the year,” said CBA senior guard Chaz Lott, who scored seven of his nine points in the first half. “We got it done.”
CBA (Big 10 No. 2 seed, 19-2) went on 8-2 runs to end the second quarter and start the third quarter, turning a 22-19 deficit into a 35-26 advantage. Sha Cancer began the decisive sequence with two free throws and a putback basket, and Joe Krong notched six points afterward, including a putback basket and jumper soon after that made it 35-26.
CBA upped its lead to as many as 12, at 45-33, when sophomore Greig Stire started the fourth quarter scoring with a layup and successful drive to the hole.
“They had one spurt and got separation,” said Bishop Maginn coach Rich Gilooly. “Against a team like that, when they get separation, it’s tough to overcome.”
“We just settled down,” said Krong, a senior forward who paced the Brothers with 19 points and six rebounds. “We started to get the ball inside, and that opened up everything. That led to some easy shots for us.”
Stire had nine points and six rebounds, and Cancer collected eight points and eight rebounds to help CBA advance to Monday’s 7 p.m. championship game against Troy (B10 No. 1, 19-2) at the Times Union Center. CBA has won three straight sectional flags including last year’s against Bishop Maginn, and six banners in the last eight years.
“Every season, our goal is to get to the section final and play well enough to win it,” said Doemel. “Credit to these young men that they’ve carried on a tradition. We had a rocky road getting here.”
Bishop Maginn (B10 No. 4, 11-10) ended CBA’s hopes of defending its Big 10 championship with a 65-59 victory over the Brothers in early February. That was part of a six-game win streak the Golden Griffins brought into Thursday’s contest.
“I couldn’t ask any more from what we got from these guys the last month,” said Gilooly, whose team knocked off Columbia and then the Suburban Council’s top seed, Guilderland, to reach the semifinal round. “To have that run, to be the team that no one thought could put it together, it’s a good feeling.”
Doemel wasn’t feeling so well during several junctures of Thursday’s game. His Brothers shot 38.5 percent from the field (22-for-57). Maginn shot 32 percent (16-for-50).
“There were some moments where we were out of whack. We didn’t move the ball enough,” he said. “Credit Bishop Maginn for going and chasing us. We’ve got to do a better job working the ball.”
Aljamar Mathis scored 16 points for Bishop Maginn, with the junior’s layup, two free throws and layup in quick succession giving the Golden Griffins their 22-19 lead. His foul shot and a drive later on twice pulled the Grifins within seven in the final frame.
“The last couple of games, they’ve been on a roll,” Lott said of the Griffins. “We had to contain them. That’s what we did.”
J.R. Briceus had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Maginn.
Jerrell Reid scored 14 points with nine rebounds, eighth-grader Dyaire Holt also delivered 14 points, and Troy put the defensive clamps on Shaker in a 54-40 semifinal win.
Shaker (Suburban Council No. 2, 16-5) turned the ball over 26 times against Troy’s quickness and size, and slumped in the second quarter with seven points before putting together a comeback to make it interesting.
Isiah Dobere’s last-second layup gave Troy as 36-30 lead after three quarters, and inside baskets by Rodney Burton and Holt gave the Flying Horses a double-digit advantage early in the fourth.
Trahmier Burrell had 12 points and four assists for Troy, which reached its first final since 2002, when it beat LaSalle. Casey Hall had 13 points and seven rebounds for Shaker.
Troy and CBA split during the season, with the Flying Horses winning, 45-43, on a late jumper by Burrell, and the Brothers prevaling, 52-50, in an overtime thriller.
“All you can do is leave it all on the court,” said Lott.
A semifinal triple-header at the Glens Falls Civic Center was postponed for the second night in a row Thursday and will be held this evening, starting with the Class D game pitting Sharon Springs (No. 2, 14-5) and Hartford (No. 6, 14-6) at 5. Scotia-Glenville (No. 3, 15-4) takes on Mohonasen (No. 2, 12-7) in one Class A game at 6:30, and Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (No. 4, 11-9) goes against Glens Falls (No. 1, 17-2) in the other at 8.
The Class A, B, C and D title games are scheduled for Saturday at the civic center.
CBA 57, BISHOP MAGINN 49
Leppanen 2-0-4, Lott 3-2-9, Krong 7-4-19, Robinson 2-0-4, Cancer 2-4-8, Ricketts 1-0-2, Marini 1-0-2, Stire 4-1-9. Totals: 22-11-57.
Ikokwu 0-3-3, Mathis 6-4-16, Young 2-5-9, Hannah 2-0-5, Thomas 2-0-4, Briceus 4-3-12. Totals: 16-15-49.
CBA 11 16 14 16 — 57
Bishop Maginn 12 12 9 16 — 49
Three-point goals: Lott, Krong, Hannah, Briceus.
TROY 54, SHAKER 40
Abara 1-0-2, Morales 4-1-9, Duffey 2-1-5, Holmes 1-1-3, Hall 5-3-13, Morrison 2-4-8. Totals: 15-10-40.
Reid 4-5-14, Holt 6-0-14, Burrell 5-1-12, Burton 1-0-2, Dobere 1-2-4, Testo 0-2-2, Brown 3-0-6. Totals: 20-10-54.
Shaker 11 7 12 10 — 40
Troy 10 18 8 18 — 54
Three-point goals: Reid, Holt 2, Burrell.
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Categories: High School Sports