Rich Damico, by himself, had as many points (eight) as Ludden had in the opening period, and it got worse in the second quarter as a 14-3 run left the Gaelic Knights staring at a 33-12 deficit. This left the crowd (even on CBA's side) as quiet and subdued as could ever be remembered in recent "Holy War" editions.
Even a tongue-lashing by head coach Pat Donnelly during a second-quarter timeout didn't shake the gloom. Only at the first-half buzzer, when Wendall Williams hit a 3-pointer to make it 33-16, did any glimmer of life appear.
As it turned out, Williams was far from done. By himself, he gave the Gaelic Knights life by hitting a trio of 3-pointers in a span of less than 90 seconds early in the third quarter, making it 35-25 and forcing CBA to worry for the first time all afternoon.
From there, the margin stabilized for a while, but in the fourth quarter Ludden made another run, an 11-2 spurt culminated by Daquan Grobsmith's steal and lay-up with 2:47 left that made it 47-43.
Following a CBA miss, the Gaelic Knights had a chance to get even closer, but also missed. Goodman and Marcus Sales combined for all eight of the Brothers' points down the stretch to put the game away.
Williams, in defeat, finished with 21 points to lead both sides, as Grobsmith added 13 points. Sales paced the Brothers with 14 points.
On Tuesday night, Ludden (13-4) played at Phoenix, then has back-to-back weekend games against Utica-Notre Dame and Fowler and will find out on Sunday where it will start the Section III Class A playoffs -- all while carrying heavy hearts for the loss of a beloved colleague.