Since it ends up in Class AA when the Section III playoffs roll around, the Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball team is fortunate if someone other than Jamesville-DeWitt offers a real challenge within the OHSL Freedom division.
Undefeated Cortland supplied that challenge Wednesday night. But the Brothers, short-handed and on the road, still managed to come from behind in the second half and, with Rob Cuomo's hot shooting, ended the Purple Tigers' 10-game win streak with a 51-48 victory.
CBA was in some trouble before the game even tipped off, as Shakir Evans, the team's leading scorer, would miss his first game all season.
Without Evans, the Brothers slogged through the first three periods on the offensive side. Cortland took some advantage of this, especially in the first half as it claimed a 28-22 lead.
Only the superb work of CBA's defense kept the game close. No Purple Tiger had more than Justin Hogan's total of 12 points, and the Brothers did a particularly good job on Cortland star Brandon Babcock, holding him to a season-low four points.
Still, it took Cuomo's career night to save the Brothers. No matter what Cortland tried, Cuomo still found ways to get open behind the 3-point line, then convert big shots. Cuomo, overall, had 29 points, more than half CBA's total, and it included seven 3-pointers. The next-highest scorers, Greg Thomson and Charlie Russo, only had six points apiece.
Back home at Buddy Wleklinski Court, the CBA girls team was favored to beat Cortland, but paid for a mid-game slump in a 61-52 loss to the Purple Tigers.
Despite its status as defending Class A champions, Cortland had been inconsistent this season, only carrying a 5-3 record into this game. But it put CBA in trouble by outscoring the hosts 16-5 in the second quarter. By the time the Brothers regrouped, it was down 50-31 in the final period, and a late rally only cut the margin in half.
Marisa Romeo led with 14 points, while Ellen Voorheis (11 points) and Guinan Isaac (nine points) each hit on three 3-pointers. Michelle Weise had seven points. Two stars carried Cortland along as Maggie Brown finished with 23 points and Nacirema Mann added 22 points.