Both of Christian Brothers Academy’s basketball teams were winless. Both saw opportunities to get rid of that designation against East Syracuse-Minoa, and both would do so.
Defeats to Cicero-North Syracuse and Fairport had left the Brothers 0-2 going into its game at ESM Tuesday night, and with Monte Stroman offering immediate assistance in his regular-season debut, CBA would claim a 58-46 decision over the Spartans.
Stroman had missed both of the Brothers’ opening games with an ankle injury. His return allowed the offense to diversify a bit more, and not rely so much on Charlie Russo’s outside shooting.
Not only was the attack a little more diverse, the defense remained a suffocating presence. ESM only managed nine points in each of the first two periods, unable to establish any rhythm with so many CBA players tailing them toward the basket.
With a 30-18 halftime lead, CBA saw its attack hurt a bit in the second half, but that didn’t prove too costly, since the defense remained a strong point until the Spartans were too far behind to really put a dent into the Brothers’ chances.
Aided by a pair of 3-pointers, Stroman finished with 11 points, nearly matching his team’s winning margin. Russo, with 22 points (including four 3-pointers), remained the focal point, while Tim Pierret managed nine points and Dylan Lambert added six points.
ESM had Sean Richardson produce 18 points, while Jah-Meer McDuffie matched Stroman’s total of 11 points. No one else had more than Eyan Underwood’s total of six points.
In the girls version at CBA’s Buddy Wleklinski Court on that same night, the Brothers had a big first half, which proved enough to withstand ESM’s late surge and beat the Spartans 66-51.
Each side moved the ball up and down the court in the first two periods. But CBA, coming off a season-opening 56-43 loss to Jamesville-DeWitt, was better equipped to deal with such a tempo, and it steadily built a solid lead on ESM.