Feb 19, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For a split-second, Monte Stroman’s shot hung on the rim, and with it hung the Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball team’s chances of knocking off defending champion Henninger in Tuesday night’s Section III Class AA quarterfinal.
Instead of falling through the net, though, the ball fell off, and Dylan Lambert’s attempt to put home a rebound was off line, too, and by that tiny margin, the no. 6 seed Brothers lost, 52-51, to the Black Knights.
Just the fact that it was so close (17 lead changes and 12 ties) was a massive contrast to the other game between CBA and Henninger this season. The Black Knights rolled past the Brothers 72-48 on Dec. 30 in the consolation game of the Bottar-Leone Holiday Classic.
But that came less than 24 hours after CBA had suffered a draining last-second defeat to Jamesville-DeWitt in the opening round of that tournament, and before the first of two games with “Holy War” rival Bishop Ludden.
The circumstances were far different here. Confident after its 58-44 victory over Nottingham in the opening round on Feb. 15, the Brothers, winners of eight of its last nine games, would make Henninger uncomfortable for all 32 minutes, right to the last shot.
CBA found itself in front for most of the first half, but also found itself unable to get away, the Black Knights staying right with them as the Brothers could only take a 29-27 lead to the break.
And the tense standoff continued in the third quarte. The Brothers’ margin inched up to 37-31 at one point, but Henninger promptly answered with an 8-0 run before CBA went back in front, 42-39, heading into the final period.
They continued to trade blows, but CBA took a 48-44 edge with less than three minutes left, and still were up, 50-48, when Destin Blunt hit a pair of free throws that pulled Henninger even with 53 seconds left.
Eight seconds later, Mike Trasolni was fouled, but he made just one of two attempts, So CBA was clinging to a 51-50 edge when Henninger worked the ball around until Marquane Silver was fouled with 16 seconds left.
To that point, Silvers didn’t have a point in the fourth quarter and had missed all four of his foul attempts. What’s more, even with Blunt’s conversions, the Black Knights were three-for-11 from the line.
None of that mattered, though, as Silvers made both free throws to put Henninger up by one. And on the last possession, with Henninger double-teaming Charlie Russo, he passed off to Stroman, who had a great look to win, but came up inches short.
Russo ended up with 16 points, while Stroman and Trasolini each got 13 points. Silvers’ clutch free throws gave him 12 points for the night to go with 10 rebounds as Romero Collier led the Black Knights with 15 points and K.J. White contributed 11 points.
All of this sharply contrasted what happened to the CBA girls basketball team, who as a no. 5 seed was ousted by no. 4 seed Rome Free Academy 56-34 in its Class AA quarterfinal.
The long bus trip may have affected the Brothers, for it got off to a slow start, falling behind those other Black Knights 17-5 in the first quarter. Though it closed the gap to 27-18 by halftime, CBA never could fully recover as RFA pulled away in the last two periods.
Natalie Nardella and Rosalee Winderl led the Brothers with nine points apiece, but Julie Cuomo got held to four points, and Paige Nicholson did not play. RFA’s Tiana Pugh led her side with 10 points and 13 rebounds as Teresa Anken got 12 points and seven rebounds.