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State no. 1-ranked Ludden falls to Albany Academy

Outside shooting dooms Gaelic Knights in 63-56 defeat

— “They played their strengths and we didn’t stop those strengths,” Donnelly said. “We knew they were a perimeter-oriented team and to have them go 11 of 21 (from three) in our gym is our fault.”

More than half of the Cadets’ points came from beyond the arc. Morrow repeatedly hit threes from NBA range, and the Gaelic Knights had no answers.

“He's four feet past the line and we stand there looking at him as he makes two in a row,” said Donnelly. “That's just a breakdown on our part to not at least run at him to make him put the ball on the floor, see what he can do off the dribble.”

Ludden’s top scorer on the season, junior swingman Ben Hackett, was held to 11 points, and just two in the first half as he picked up two quick fouls in the game’s opening minutes.

“That changed the way we played,” admitted Donnelly, “but we hung in there.”

When the Cadets weren’t draining jump shots, they went inside to 6-foot-8, 265-pound junior Marcus Jackson, who contributed 13 points and altered Ludden’s offensive game on the other end.

Albany Academy coach Brian Fruscio lauded the big man’s development.

“Marcus is a work in progress," Fruscio said."He was playing maybe eight minutes to start the year. He just turned 16 in September, so we’re excited. He stays really within himself offensively.”

Donnelly was equally impressed with Jackson. “For a big kid he does what he's supposed to do,” Donnelly said. “He doesn't jump overly well, doesn't run overly fast, but he doesn't try to do those things either. He gets his hands on some balls, he takes his space up in the middle, and he finishes plays inside.”

Despite scoring a game-high 21 points for Ludden, Kaigler went large stretches of the game without getting significant touches on the ball, creating a stagnant Knights offense.

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