Not even three games into its season, the Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball team stood at a turning point.
Here it was, early in the third quarter of last Saturday's game against Rochester McQuaid in the Brooklyn Pickle Classic at Henninger High School, and the 0-2 Brothers were staring at an 11-point deficit against the Knights.
Worse yet, CBA couldn't count on junior Marcus Sales to bail them out with his offensive prowess, since Sales was sitting out for academic reasons -- and point guard J.T. Miranda still wasn't back from his knee injury.
All that adversity, though, was just what the Brothers required to break out of its slump.
Inspired on offense and ferocious on defense, CBA went on a 35-8 run to turn things around against McQuaid, produce a 65-51 victory, and breathe a bit easier.
Mike Goodman was responsible for most of the firepower. Needing to step up in Sales' absence, the sophomore did so, pouring in 30 points and showing his improved shooting touch by draining four 3-pointers along the way.
Nate Wayne and Dan Sisto were the other key components of the comeback, each of them earning 12 points and hitting on two 3-pointers apiece. Mike Bulman had six points and Mike Paulus (despite just four points) was a force on the boards.
This was a far better outcome for CBA than what it faced earlier in the week, when it had to face Henninger on this same floor.
Despite a big night from Sales, the bigger, stronger Black Knights tossed the Brothers around, resulting in a 71-52 defeat.
Henninger is considered, in many circles, the Section III Class AA title favorite, with all five of its starters back and a formidable front line led by David Simmons, Ben Cronin and Marquis Kirkland.
Together, that trio made Goodman (12 points) and Paulus (seven points) struggle for every basket, and though Sales compensated with 30 points, many of those came after the Black Knights built a 37-18 halftime edge.