Here was where the Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball team would find out if its banishment from the CNY Counties League would translate into trouble once the Section III Class AA playoffs got underway.
So far, it's turned out just fine, as the no. 3 seed Brothers prevailed twice in the early rounds of the sectional tournament to set up a marquee AA semifinal against no. 2 seed Henninger this Friday at LeMoyne College.
Of the two games, the AA quarterfinal against no. 6 seed Nottingham proved to be far more challenging -- but with solid play down the stretch and a lot of inside power from Mike Goodman, the Brothers beat the Bulldogs 59-53.
Defensively, CBA faced the dilemma of whether to concentrate on Nottingham star Tyshon Goode (who had 27 points in an opening-round win over Oswego), or normally cover Goode and make sure his teammates didn't cause too much damage.
As it turned out, the plan fell in the middle. Goode finished with 18 points, but had to battle hard for his baskets against the defense offered by Mike Hannan and his colleagues.
Meanwhile, Marcus Sales, who sat out the team's opening-round victory over Rome Free Academy, returned and was the prime focus of Nottingham's defense.
That turned out to be a split decision, too, as Sales had just nine points, but the attention given to him gave Goodman a chance to shine.
With Goodman controlling the paint, CBA battled its way to a 33-28 halftime lead. Then its offense dried up for much of the second half, so it needed to grind out points. Of the 10 free throws it tried in the final period, the Brothers made nine of them, allowing its season to continue.
In all, Goodman had 28 points, adding 10 rebounds. Stefan Thompson added seven points as Sean Wayne contributed a pair of 3-pointers. Aside from Goode, Devorn Kinsey (11 points) and Jawon Simmons (10 points) also broke into double figures for the Bulldogs.