Trashon Burrell caught an alley-oop pass from Bunduka Kargbo and jammed the ball through the basket on Bishop Maginn’s first trip downcourt against Christian Brothers Academy Friday night.
“It was a play coach drew up,” said Burrell. “Jerel Scott set a back screen, [Bunduka] Kargbo fed it, and for me, all I had to do was catch it.”
That play was just the beginning of a huge night for the junior forward and for the Golden Giffins.
Burrell ripped down 14 rebounds and scored a season-high 21 points, 12 coming in a decisive fourth quarter as host Bishop Maginn defeated its longtime rival, 65-51, before a full gymnasium, and gained firm control of the Big 10 race it won for the first time a year ago.
Taran Buie complemented Burrell with 23 points, and Chris Jeffers contributed nine points and seven rebounds off the bench to help the Golden Griffins beat the Brothers for the sixth straight time, while extending their league winning streak to 34 contests.
“I was just trying to work hard and get the win,” said the 6-foot-6 Burrell, after his fourth straight double-digit scoring game. “If we lost this one, we would have been tied for first, and we didn’t want that. This is a good feeling.”
Burrell was better than good in his breakout game, surpassing the season-best 17 points he produced Tuesday with a monster fourth quarter which sparked a 22-13 run. Three of his final-period baskets came on putbacks, and he also dropped in two layups and a pair of foul shots.
“He’s grown into his role since Day 1,” Bishop Maginn coach Rich Hurley said of Burrell, the team’s sixth man early in the season who also had three steals. “He’s gotten better and better every day. He’s matured every day. I’m very proud of him.”
Hurley was also pleased with his team’s defense. While Burrell was putting on his fourth-quarter show, the reigning state champion Golden Griffins (12-0, 13-3) held CBA (12-2, 14-3) to 2-for-16 shooting from the field.
“I think our defense tonight was fabulous,” Hurley said. “In games like this, defense usually carries you. If we can stymie other teams consistently and score ourselves, we’ll be OK.”
“They took us out of a few things we wanted to do,” CBA coach Dave Doemel said. “Nothing was a surprise. They just played a little harder in spots.”
Galal Cancer paced the Brothers with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while scoring leader Kameron Ritter (18.3 ppg.) managed 10 points for the state’s No. 18-ranked Class AA team. The junior forward picked up his third foul with 6:02 left in the second quarter and sat the rest of the half.
“It’s hard to compete when you have him [Ritter] on the bench,” Doemel said. “He’s the type of player you need. He’s got the athleticism to match them.”
Ritter erupted for a career-high 35 points in CBA’s 69-63 homecourt loss to the Griffins on Dec. 23. His biggest basket Friday was a three pointer with 3:50 to go, which sliced CBA’s deficit to 50-46 before the state’s No. 17-ranked Class AA team responded with eight unanswered points.
“He’s a fabulous player. He’s tough on the drive, and we spent two days working on containing him [Ritter],” Hurley said. “Our guys were a little upset that he put 35 points on us.”
“We’ve given up big numbers to players all year,” said Buie, a junior guard. “Coach gave us a good scouting report, and we did a good job on him.”
Ritter sank a jumper and Andy Stire had five of his six points in a 13-5 run as CBA whittled a 34-25 deficit to 39-38 in the third quarter. Buie followed with a putback basket, and Jeffers’ steal led to two free throws by Buie to close the frame before Burrell helped seal Maginn’s 43rd straight win against Section II opponents.
“He’s capable of doing that every night,” Buie said of Burrell, who was a standout on Maginn’s 20-0 junior varsity team as a sophomore. “In the beginning of the season, we knew he could do some things. It just took him a little while to get used to playing to the varsity level.”
Joe Krong and Max Weaver gave CBA a lift off the bench, with Krong hitting a trio of three-pointers and Weaver collecting six points and nine rebounds. Back-to-back threes by Krong and a layup by Cancer gave CBA its only lead at 10-7 before Maginn countered with a 14-2 run that stretched into second quarter. Buie and Jeffers started the run with threes, and the two juniors ended the spurt when Jeffers scored down low and Buie hit two foul shots.
Weaver 2-2-6, Krong 3-0-9, Cancer 4-7-14, Ritter 3-3-10, Creighton 1-3-5, Stire 2-2-6. Totals: 15-17-51.
Burrell 9-3-21, Buie 7-7-23, Scott 0-1-1, Tully 1-0-3, Scurry 1-1-3, Kargbo 1-0-2, Torres 1-1-3, Jeffers 4-0-9. Totals: 24-13-65.
CBA 10 15 13 13 — 51
Bishop Maginn 15 17 11 22 — 65
Three-point goals: Krong 3, Ritter, Buie 2, Tully, Jeffers.