Following an intense first week that included three games in five days, the Bishop Ludden boys basketball team was both tested and testy -- especially since that opening stretch ended with a loss to Bishop Grimes.
Furious at that result, the Gaelic Knights took out that fury on Mexico last Tuesday night, crushing the Tigers by a score of 74-42.
What was a close, 17-14 game broke open in the middle stages. Applying all kinds of pressure and taking full advantage of Mexico's cold shooting, Ludden outscored them 39-14 in the second and third periods to erase the suspense.
All 10 of the Gaelic Knights' players got at least one field goal. Jared Littlejohn, with 17 points, led the way as John Rooney added 16 points. Casey Ganley and Tyler Young each had seven points. Tim Forbes led Mexico with 17 points.
Ludden was back home Friday night to face Cortland -- and promptly got humbled as the much-improved Purple Tigers beat them 69-52.
Cortland showed its strength early, seizing a 16-12 lead, and while Ludden kept it tight and only trailed, 27-25 at the break, things would soon change.
As a whole, the Purple Tigers took apart the Gaelic Knights' defense in the third quarter, piling up 26 points in that frame to build a 53-39 margin.
Even with Rooney getting 13 points and Littlejohn 12 points, Ludden could not overcome that surge as Corey Hunter (seven points) and Young (six points) made smaller contributions. Justin Hogan, with 18 points, led four Cortland players to score in double figures as Jordan Prior (15 points), Brandon Babock (13 points) and Jeff Brown (12 points) hit that mark, too.
So Ludden fell to 3-2 this season, and knows its effort must improve when, this Friday, it hosts "Holy War" rival Christian Brothers Academy, a team it has not beat since 2005. Prior to that, the Gaelic Knights would visit Chittenango Tuesday night.