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CBA boys beat ESM, race to 3-0 start

In reality, Christian Brothers Academy's boys basketball team have been playing on Buddy Wleklinski's court for a long time now. They just decided to make it official.

With a proper amount of pomp and ceremony, the school officially dedicated "Buddy Wleklinski Court" prior to last Friday's game against East Syracuse-Minoa, then watched the Brothers beat the Spartans 67-53 for its third win in four nights.

Showing little hangover from all the pre-game festivities, CBA kept pace with ESM in a fast-paced opening period. It helped that one of the Spartans' top players, Sharif Nero, had three fouls in the early going and sat out for most of the half.

To its credit, ESM hung in there and were only down nine, 34-25, before the Brothers went on an 18-4 spurt to close the third quarter, capped by senior Mike Goodman's steal and dunk just before time expired in the period.

Goodman, who sat out the fourth quarter, finished with 17 points, putting him within 18 of 1,000 for his career. Mike Kitts added 11 points as he, along with Stefan Thompson and Troy Bullock, each hit on two 3-point field goals, and CBA hit 10 3-pointers overall.

Nero, despite his limited minutes, still led ESM with 10 points. Christian Beaucage and Greg Raab each had eight points, while Ken Cannon had seven points. Ben Kreischer and Quadear Mike got six points apiece.

Thus, the brothers finished a strong opening week that suggested the team is quite ready to vie for Section III Class AA championship honors.

From last year's 19-4 squad that fell to Henninger in the AA semifinals, just five seniors departed -- but that included 1,000-point scorer Marcus Sales and two other key starters, Mike Hannan and Tim Hornstein.

However, Goodman, Thompson and Kitts leads a strong group of returning players -- and it didn't take long for the Brothers to start winning again.

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