Brothers put six-game streak on line against Patriots
Christian Brothers Academy was in a close basketball game with Albany Tuesday night, and just as they did before in tussles with LaSalle and Amsterdam, the Brothers found a way to win.
“You try to hang in there,” said veteran coach Dave Doemel. “If you look at the effort and the games, we’re not that far away from each other.”
CBA rallied from a halftime deficit and beat Albany, 58-45, when Tyrell Ramsey scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. The win was CBA’s sixth in a row, and third straight without starting guard Daniel Owens, who sustained a concussion while playing against Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons on Jan. 15.
Owens, the Brothers’ best defender and second-leading scorer (10.4 ppg) behind 6-foot-7 junior center Greig Stire (17 ppg), is also expected to miss tonight’s Big 10 game against visiting Schenectady. The Brothers edged the Patriots earlier in the season, 47-46.
“He helps us out in a lot of different ways,” Doemel said of Owens, a 6-foot junior. “With him out, it hurts our rhythm and tempo, and we’re not as deep. Our rotation is a little different.”
The players Doemel has called on have done enough, though, to keep CBA (12-1, 13-2) in a tie for first with Troy (12-1, 13-2) in the league standings. The Brothers and the Flying Horses meet on Tuesday.
“I’m pleasantly surprised with some of the things that have happened,” said Doemel. “[Nick] Marini has picked it up at the defensive end for Owens. The other night at LaSalle, Ramsey and [Drew] Brundige hit some crucial shots. In the Albany game, [Paul] Corradi came off the bench and gave us some good minutes.”
CBA needed them after falling behind at Albany, 19-18, at the half. The Brothers got key back-to-back three-point baskets from Ramsey and Brundige in a 22-11 third quarter run before sealing the victory.
“It was not the prettiest game. We were 2-for-11 on our first-half free throws, and when we fouled them, they hit their shots,” said Doemel. “Albany played us tough, but the kids responded in the third quarter, and we did what we needed to do down the stretch.”
Schenectady was the better team for most of the second half when it hosted CBA on Dec. 18, with the Patriots putting together a 15-5 third-quarter run to pull even, and using a 7-0 spurt to go up, 46-45, in the final seconds. Marini’s steal of an inbound pass and layup gave the four-time defending Section II Class AA champions the victory, and extended their winning streak against the Pats to 15 games.
“I know that was hard on their kids,” said Doemel. “I think we lit a fire over there.”
“The boys don’t need any motivation. We let the first game get by, and we’re ready to come out and do some pretty good things,” said Schenectady coach Eric Loudis. “I told the boys, ‘You have a shot to take this team down. We can compete with these guys. Let’s go out and make things happen and get a signature win.’ ”
Schenectady (7-5, 7-7) will be trying to bounce back after Tuesday’s 76-53 loss to Troy. Darius Macon was a bright spot with 17 points, and Clarence Stanford had his third straight double-digit outing with 10.
“Going to CBA is a tough place to play, but I think we match up better with CBA then we do with Troy,” said Loudis. “If we could take them down, that could be the boost we need. That could change our whole demeanor. We’re a game behind LaSalle for third place, and every game is critical for us heading into the sectional pairings.
“We’re looking for the pros to outweigh the cons heading into the sectionals.”
A good thing for Schenectady tonight would be a fast-paced contest. CBA, on the other hand, would prefer to play at a slower pace.
“We’ve got to try to control tempo. When we got the lead [in the first game], Schenectady got back in it because the tempo changed,” said Doemel. “There’s a tempo that favors them, and a tempo that favors us.”
CBA raced to an 11-2 lead at Schenectady, and after the Pats rallied, the Brothers worked their advantage to 30-20 at the half.
“We can’t let them get out on us. We need to get out and put pressure on them,” said Loudis. “To do that, we need to be smart and make good decisions.”
Macon scored 12 points in the first go-round with CBA, and the 6-7 senior also anchored Schenectady’s defense with five blocked shots and five steals. Randall Symes scored seven of his nine points in the second half, and Cody Shafer produced all eight of his points in the second half. Marini paced CBA with 13 points, four assists and five steals, Stire had 10 points and seven rebounds, and Owens delivered all seven of his points in the final quarter. His runner and putback basket soon after gave the Brothers a 45-39 lead.
“With Schenectady, there’s heightened awareness that we need to play a great game,” said Doemel, whose Brothers are ranked No. 12 in the state. “Too many times, we’ve gone on a good run and pulled away, and then let teams back in it. We’ve got to be more consistent.”
First-year Saratoga Springs boys’ varsity basketball coach Jack Brock was suspended from his position on Wednesday.
Peter Sheehan, Saratoga’s athletic director, said Brock has been suspended until an investigation into undisclosed allegations can be concluded. He wouldn’t comment on the allegations that prompted the suspension.
The investigation will consist of interviews with players on the team, and a meeting involving Brock, Sheehan and representatives from the district’s human resources office. While Brock is suspended, the team will be led by assistant coaches Damian Fantauzzi and Greg Goering.
The Blue Streaks (4-7, 6-8) play at Suburban Council rival Shenendehowa (9-2, 9-3) tonight. Saratoga let a 36-24 halftime lead get away in Tuesday’s 66-53 loss at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.