Ludden rallies past Auburn, goes to 8-0

Finally, with 2:07 to play, Connor Sweeney's lay-up gave the Gaelic Knights its first lead of the night, 52-51, and Grobsmith followed with a clutch basket in the final minute. A trio of successful free throws by Rooney sealed the victory -- and kept Ludden perfect.

Aside from Williams, Grobsmith was the top scorer with 11 points, including a trio of 3-point field goals. Rooney finished with 10 points, as Sweeney got nine points, Frank Smith eight points and Kevin Roy five valuable points off the bench. Pitts, in defeat, led Auburn with 19 points and joined teammate Dave Foltz (11 points) on the All-Tournament team.

Getting to the final was simple enough. Ludden used everyone on its roster last Thursday in a 67-33 opening-round romp over Stamford, from Ontario.

Using just eight players, Stamford actually owned a 10-8 lead late in the first quarter. But once head coach Pat Donnelly went to his bench, the flood began, as Ludden went on a 20-2 run without its starters for the rest of the first half to take charge.

Rick Montgomery got extended minutes and led his side with 11 points, with Rooney close behind as he got 10 points. Sweeney and Chris Humez put up eight points apiece, with Vince Sojda adding six points.

This came after Auburn outscored Markham Prep 85-51, a game where Foltz put up 25 points and three of his teammates --Pitts, Malcom Bryant (12 points each) and Whitaker (11 points) -- also reached double figures.

Markham would make a mark in the consolation game win against Stamford, as forward Adam Folker scored 44 points, setting a new tournament record. Jermaine Grant (Rice, New York City) set the old mark of 43 points in 1992.

So Ludden enters the new year with an 8-0 mark, but a big test looms Saturday night against Jamesville-DeWitt as the Gaelic Knights try and figure out a way to contain Brandon Triche and the potent Red Rams attack.

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