Holiday changes limit local teams to single games

At least in the original plan, Christian Brothers Academy, Fayetteville-Manlius and Bishop Grimes were set to have full holiday-tournament slates.

But when various visiting teams were unable to show up for various reasons, the Brothers, Hornets and Cobras had to settle for one game apiece before the calendar switched from 2010 to 2011.

Of the three, CBA was the most adversely affected, because it was the host of the annual Bottar-Leone Holiday Classic. Three teams were set to visit - defending champion Westhill, St. Joseph's (Buffalo), and Monsignor McClancy, from Queens.

However, McClancy was unable to make it, stuck at home by the East Coast blizzard that paralyzed New York City for most of the week.

As an alternative, CBA and Westhill would both take turns playing St. Joseph's. The Warriors went first on Wednesday, nearly erasing a big fourth-quarter deficit (just as it had done last year in the tournament against St. Peter's) before losing to the Marauders 51-46.

Then it was CBA's turn against St. Joe's on Thursday night. And it used a devastating barrage of 3-point shots (13 in all) to produce a 73-66 victory over the Marauders.

Shakir Evans set the tone, connecting three times beyond the arc in the first quarter as Rob Cuomo and Brian Anderson also connected. So CBA (4-1), despite ceding a physical advantage to the Marauders, led 23-13, after one period.

That lead kept growing, to 36-21 by halftime, but St. Joe's roared out in the third quarter with a 17-5 run that, in barely three minutes of time, cut the Brothers' edge to 41-38.

Naturally it was 3-point shooting that saved CBA - especially that of freshman Charlie Russo. Four times in the second half, Russo connected beyond the arc, adding to a 3 he already made in the second quarter to give him a career-best 15 points.

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