At just the right moment, the Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball team is finding its best form, which might make future Section III Class AA playoff opponents worry.
East Syracuse-Minoa could attest to that improvement, having lost to the Brothers 64-54 Tuesday night at Buddy Wleklinski Court.
When they had first played on Dec. 16, ESM prevailed by that exact same 10-point margin, 57-47. A month and a half later, it appeared the same thing would happen when the Spartans bolted out to a 20-13 lead by the end of the first period.
By halftime, though, CBA had closed within 29-27, and the third quarter proved decisive. With a diverse and much-improved attack, the Brothers outscored the Spartans 22-11 in that frame to take the lead for good.
Dylan Haines led the way with 23 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, one of four players in double figures. Charlie Russo had 15 points, while Cam MacPherson (a day before signing his college letter of intent to play football at Georgetown) chimed in with 12 points and Aaron Morgan got 10 points.
ESM’s Jeff McDuffie finshed with 18 points, with Brandon Russell posting 12 points and Bobby Campese adding 10 points. Keith Caiello, who put up 31 points in a win over Chittenango Jan. 27, had just eight points here.
Just a few miles away, the CBA girls team was beating ESM 54-39 to complete a regular-season sweep of the playoff-bound Spartans, whom it knocked off 66-52 back in December.
They played through a close first half, neither side generating any sort of consistent offense. Then, CBA, up 23-20 at the break, promptly doubled up ESM 20-10 in the third period, a run eerily similar to what happened in the boys game.
Marisa Romeo posted 15 points, but got plenty of help as Michelle Wiese (who signed Wednesday to play soccer at Villanova) and Kelsey Johnson got 11 points apiece. Olivia Pitonzo added eight points. ESM did not have a player score in double figures, though Julie Maselli and Rebecca Nelson (eight points each) came close.