With the possibility that it might hold the top seed for the Section III Class AA playoffs, the Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball team did not want any unexpected circumstance to foil those plans.
Yet that is exactly what transpired on Friday night, when the Brothers' 13-game win streak came to a crashing halt in a 56-52 loss to the Fowler Falcons.
Two things made this defeat such a surprise. First, CBA had beaten these same Falcons 54-36 just six days earlier, during the Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge at LeMoyne College. Second, the Brothers had a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, only to squander it.
Fowler had first showed its feisty side in the game's early stages, matching CBA's intensity and effort all the way as it took a 26-22 lead to halftime.
Yet it appeared that CBA had turned away the upset bid when it dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Falcons 19-3. By the early part of the final period, the Brothers were up 43-29 and were ready to cruise home.
They never got there. Half-court Fowler pressure led to turnovers and baskets on the other end, and the lead vanished. Once the Falcons took the lead, it held on by having Chris Gilkes and Elonzo Wilson both hit big free throws.
Here, CBA paid a price for relying too much on its stars. Marcus Sales poured in 27 points, more than half his team's output, and Mike Goodman added 12 points. But they didn't get much help, as Gilkes (20 points), Wilson (13 points) and Ronald Monroe (14 points) all broke into double figures for the Falcons.
Two nights before, the Brothers' win streak reached 13 games with a 75-38 romp over the Firebirds.
CBA was coming off a crowded weekend where it had rallied past Bishop Ludden in the first of two "Holy War" showdowns, then had struggled past Fowler less than 24 hours later.