Dec 31, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
While it might have been nice for Camillus resident Buddy Wleklinski to invite his hometown team from West Genesee out to Christian Brothers Academy’s 22nd annual Bottar-Leone Holiday Classic, he wasn’t so happy with the way the guests behaved.
Unfazed by the hostile surroundings and a slow start, the Wildcats rallied to shock the state Class AA no. 14-ranked Brothers 55-50 in last Monday night’s opening round for CBA’s first defeat of the season.
Just the fact that CBA was playing was novel enough. It had not played since Dec. 13, when it beat Henninger at the Peppino’s Classic — a span of 16 days without a game. WG had its own challenges, having not played at home yet as it started 2-2.
The Brothers didn’t seem to have any rust, though, aside from some uneven outside shooting. And on defense, CBA was quite sharp at the start, keeping WG off the board for more than five minutes, though it could only gain a 7-0 edge.
When senior Mike Goodman achieved a steal and lay-up with 3:22 left in that opening period, he surpassed 1,000 career points, and the game was stopped as Goodman received a standing ovation and the ball used to reach that milestone.
Yet all wasn’t right, as point guard Stefan Thompson picked up three early fouls and sat for most of the first half. Without him, the Brothers’ 11-point lead dwindled down to five, 25-20, by halftime, despite WG missing most of its free-throw attempts.
As the pace quickened in the third quarter, WG hung close, and CBA’s frustration built to the point of Wleklinski getting a technical foul on the court just named in his honor. It took baskets by Thompson and Troy Bullock late in the period to get the Brothers back in front, 42-38, as it went to the fourth quarter.
WG went to the front, and would use Tyler Carr’s 3-pointer with 1:20 left to make it 51-47 before Goodman, who led both sides with 16 points, used a three-point play to cut the deficit to 51-50 with less than a minute to play.
Staying cool, the Wildcats gave the ball to Conboy, who hit a driving lay-up with 32 seconds left to make it 53-50. Bullock’s 3-point attempt to tie it went off the mark, and Conboy added a final lay-up to seal WG’s victory.
Of Conboy’s 13 points, 12 came in the second half, as Connor Regin also had 12 points. For the Brothers, Bullock had eight points, Thompson seven points in his limited court time and Kevin Yarnell six points.
CBA now had to face St. John’s Prep (Queens) in Tuesday night’s consolation game. Furious by the defeat, the Brothers focused enough and overcame a shaky start to beat the Red Storm 69-60.
The Brothers trailed for most of the first half, but pulled back within one, 34-33, at halftime. Continuing its surge, CBA used its depth and balance to take the lead in the third quarter and kept it through hitting 12 3-pointers on the night.
While Goodman finished with 16 points and Greg Thomson got 12 points, Doug Bailey, Sean Wayne and Mike Kitts each hit on three 3-pointers to account for all of their 27 points, turning the game around.
Later that night, in the championship game, WG met the Albany branch of CBA, who beat St.
John’s Prep 57-40 in the opening round. Albany CBA prevailed, 57-44, leading most of the way and never letting the Wildcats get any kind of sustained run.
This leads CBA toward a brutal weekend where, next Friday, it visits defending state Class A champion Jamesville-DeWitt, then turns around two days later to face Bishop Ludden in the first of two “Holy War” clashes at LeMoyne College.