Schenectady vs. CBA: Balanced Brothers beat Pats
COLONIE Nick Marini ran the Christian Brothers Academy offense without a turnover, and fellow senior Greig Stire was his efficient self, scoring, rebounding and defending the basket down low in Tuesday night’s season-opening game with Schenectady.
The two veterans offered no surprises in another steady effort. Things were so different for Brian Renauld, who never had a varsity game like it.
“I wanted to work as hard as I could and make a difference,” Renauld said after CBA’s 73-52 win at Ned McGraw Gymnasium.
Renauld triggered a second-quarter surge that gave the Brothers all the breathing room they needed, and, like Stire, finished a rebound shy of a double-double to help them open defense of their Big 10 championship.
“They were powerhouses,” Schenectady coach Eric Loudis said of CBA’s frontcourt tandem. “They outmuscled us underneath. They got a lot of putbacks. They bothered us.”
Renauld scored 18 points and took down nine rebounds in his first varsity start, and Stire totaled 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Marini chipped in with seven points and three assists in a game that was decided quick, like the last time the teams met in a 72-55 CBA victory.
“What I’ve been telling [Renauld] is teams are going to key on Stire,” said CBA coach Dave Doemel. “If he works hard, he’ll get the ball, and tonight, he worked for it. I hope it gets him energized to play this way every time.”
Renauld scored on two putbacks and two layups, including a reverse in an 11-0 run that enabled CBA to open up a 35-14 second-quarter advantage. The 6-foot-5 12th-grader had 14 points by the half, two more than his single-game high from last season.
“He’s so large. He’s hard to get around. He reminds me of [former NBA star Charles] Barkley, and he’s a lot quicker that you’d think,” said Doemel. “He has a first step where he’ll get you.”
Renauld, Stire and Marini outscored Schenectady by themselves in the decisive first half, with the 6-7 Stire delivering 12 points and Marini nailing a pair of threes, his second coming in the 11-0 run. Renauld’s layup soon after had the Brothers on top, 37-19.
Schenectady managed just three field goals in a difficult second quarter.
“The kids in our initial playing group did a good job playing together,” said Doemel. “We have to help each other on defense. We did a good job of that.”
“With their man-to-man defense, they can take you out of your offense,” said Loudis. “We needed to shoot the ball, and we didn’t do that too well. We shot 28 percent from the field, and we were 1-for-12 from three-point range. You can play the best defense in the world, but if you don’t score …”
CBA scored at a steady rate in the first half against a 3-2 Schenectady zone, often using a series of passes before shooting.
“Coach said we’ve got to attack and draw two people,” said Renauld. “When there’s two people on the ball, someone is going to be open, and we had to hit that guy.”
Renauld scored on a putback to begin the third quarter, and Tobias Holmes sank a free throw and Randall Symes delivered down low for Schenectady. Dan Owens followed with a three-point basket for the Brothers, Paul Corradi swished a short jumper and Jacob Foglia nailed another three as their lead grew to 47-22.
“Their kids were quick to lanes and quick to the ball,” said Doemel. “Our guys did what they were supposed to do.”
Renauld did more than he ever had, and did it in three quarters before the reserves engaged in a foul-filled final quarter.
“He’s learned how to slide and get into seams. He’s gotten better, and he’s getting a chance now to cash in,” said Doemel of Renauld. “He missed a layup that maybe he shouldn’t have, but he made a couple of nice spin shots and had some good putbacks to go with his defense and rebounding.”
Shani Moses paced Schenectady with 13 points and five rebounds. Holmes, an eighth-grader, finished with eight points, while Brandon Langston and Keishaun Wheelings both netted six.
Moses 4-4-13, Hamlin 1-1-3, Langston 2-2-6, Wheelings 3-0-6, Symes 1-0-2, Chrisman 0-1-1, Chandler 2-1-5, Williams 2-1-5, Holmes 1-6-8, Cyr 1-0-2, Spottswood 0-1-1. Totals: 17-17-52.
Marini 2-1-7, Ward 1-2-5, Foglia 2-0-6, Danzy 1-4-6, Hamel 1-1-3, Owens 1-0-3, Schultz 0-2-2, Corradi 1-0-2, Corker 0-2-2, Stanton 1-1-3, Stire 6-4-16, Renauld 9-0-18. Totals: 25-17-73.
Schenectady 9 10 13 20 — 52
CBA 15 22 18 18 — 73
Three-point goals: Moses, Marini 2, Ward, Foglia 2, Owens.
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 395-3143 or email@example.com.