Now the big task for the Christian Brothers Academy basketball teams was to avoid getting content or relaxed before the Feb. 18 regular-season finale with Jamesville-DeWitt and the Section III Class AA playoffs.
As the week's main highlight, both CBA sides took on East Syracuse-Minoa Thursday night at Buddy Wleklinski Court - and both won by healthy margins.
It started with the girls beating the Spartans 53-39. ESM entered the game with an 8-4 mark, yet wilted under the relentless defensive pressure the Brothers applied as it worked its way to a 26-13 halftime lead.
The Spartans did find its offense in the third quarter, closing within 37-30, but CBA got away late as Marisa Romeo, in particular, dominated inside with 22 points. Ellen Voorheis had 10 points, with Kelsey Johnson (eight points) and Michelle Wiese (six points) close behind.
Meanwhile, the Spartans never put a player in double figures. Julie Maselli and Gabby Eure fared best, with nine points apiece, while Olivia Luciani got eight points and Danielle Russo earned six points.
It proved more lopsided in the boys game between ESM and CBA as the Brothers, no. 20 in the state Class AA rankings, hammered the Spartans 84-52.
On the offensive side, CBA did close to whatever it wanted, working to a 38-22 halftime lead, then going on a 25-12 sprint through the third quarter to put it out of reach. And this happened with just three points from senior center Greg Thomson.
Andy Drescher stood out, hitting four of the Brothers' 11 3-pointers as he finished with a career-best 24 points. Shakir Evans connected three times beyond the arc on his way to 13 points as Rob Cuomo (eight points), Dave Hornstein, Cameron MacPherson (seven points each) and Steve Gangemi (six points) offered support.
In all, 12 CBA players got at least one field goal, a far cry from ESM's struggles as Tyler Johnson led with just 10 points. Sharif Nero threw in seven points as Josh Stuper, Matt Placito, Casey Sullivan and Bobby Campese got six points apiece.