After two months of a slow climb back into the realm of Section III Class AA title contenders, the Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball team saw that journey end in a swift period of time.
The no. 5 seed Brothers were locked in a tight battle with no. 4 seed Corcoran in last Tuesday night's AA quarterfinal before the Cougars took charge late in the third quarter and pulled away to end CBA's season in a 65-43 defeat.
CBA figured things would be different with Corcoran than it was Dec. 15, when the Cougars won and took full advantage of the absence of Marcus Sales and J.T. Miranda in the Brothers' lineup.
Corcoran would never trail in the playoff rematch, though. It scored six points in the game's first 1:13, forcing head coach Buddy Wleklinski to use a quick time-out to try and shake his team's lethargy.
Slowly, CBA got interested, and well into the third quarter, it stayed within sight as its rebounding improved and the offense was spread around.
Ironically, a sequence that gave the Brothers a huge break instead swung the game in Corcoran's favor.
Midway through the third quarter, Elton Frazier, the Cougars' star forward, drove to the basket and dunked. He hung on the rim, drawing a technical foul, much to the displeasure of the Corcoran bench.
Furious with that call, the Cougars proceeded to end that third period on an 11-0 run, swarming CBA at every turn with energy and fire. That momentum lingered for the rest of the game as the Brothers never could muster a regular attack again.
Sales was held to nine points, far below his average. Mike Paulus led with 12 points, while Mike Goodman matched Sales with nine points.
Frazier led the Cougars with 20 points, 16 of which came in the first half. Sean McMahon had 16 points, while Darnell Sapps added 15 points.
CBA concluded with a mark of 12-9 and faces the departure of Paulus and Miranda. However, with Sales and Goodman still in the fold, the Brothers will carry its usual high expectations into 2007-08.