Dec 08, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In reality, Christian Brothers Academy’s boys basketball team have been playing on Buddy Wleklinski’s court for a long time now. They just decided to make it official.
With a proper amount of pomp and ceremony, the school officially dedicated “Buddy Wleklinski Court” prior to last Friday’s game against East Syracuse-Minoa, then watched the Brothers beat the Spartans 67-53 for its third win in four nights.
Showing little hangover from all the pre-game festivities, CBA kept pace with ESM in a fast-paced opening period. It helped that one of the Spartans’ top players, Sharif Nero, had three fouls in the early going and sat out for most of the half.
To its credit, ESM hung in there and were only down nine, 34-25, before the Brothers went on an 18-4 spurt to close the third quarter, capped by senior Mike Goodman’s steal and dunk just before time expired in the period.
Goodman, who sat out the fourth quarter, finished with 17 points, putting him within 18 of 1,000 for his career. Mike Kitts added 11 points as he, along with Stefan Thompson and Troy Bullock, each hit on two 3-point field goals, and CBA hit 10 3-pointers overall.
Nero, despite his limited minutes, still led ESM with 10 points. Christian Beaucage and Greg Raab each had eight points, while Ken Cannon had seven points. Ben Kreischer and Quadear Mike got six points apiece.
Thus, the brothers finished a strong opening week that suggested the team is quite ready to vie for Section III Class AA championship honors.
From last year’s 19-4 squad that fell to Henninger in the AA semifinals, just five seniors departed — but that included 1,000-point scorer Marcus Sales and two other key starters, Mike Hannan and Tim Hornstein.
However, Goodman, Thompson and Kitts leads a strong group of returning players — and it didn’t take long for the Brothers to start winning again.
CBA toppled Fowler 66-44 in last Tuesday night’s opener. Fowler had seen a prodigious talent in 6-9 center DeJuan Coleman transfer to Jamesville-DeWitt in the off-season, and it was still searching for a viable replacement.
In the meantime, the Falcons had to watch Goodman dial up 19 points and 19 rebounds as the Brothers broke it open with a 19-6 domination of the second quarter. Thompson, back as CBA’s point guard, had 17 points, while sophomore Greg Thomson gained eight points. Sean Wayne (seven points) and Bullock (six points) were close behind.
It proved tougher on Thursday in a short road trip to Nottingham, but the Brothers still made it 2-0 by beating the Bulldogs 50-44.
Steadily, CBA worked its way to a 41-31 lead as it went to the fourth quarter, where it had to fend off a furious Nottingham rally.
Goodman had a modest showing, with 13 points, but the offense was much more balanced. Kitts stepped up with 11 points, with Thomson adding 10 points and Thompson earning nine points. For the Bulldogs, Jowan Simmons and Deanzel Crouch each had 11 points.
ESM had opened on Wednesday night, at Phoenix, and it was close all the way to the wire before the Spartans lost to the Firebirds 57-54.
Through one quarter, ESM had a 13-9, but Phoenix used a 22-point second-quarter outburst to go in front, then spent the rest of the night trading baskets and runs without surrendering that advantage.
Nero, with 17 points, was the lone Spartan to score in double figures. Mike and Kreischer each had eight points, while Andy Raymond got six points. Jon North (17 points) and Dorrie Morrison (13 points) led Phoenix’s effort.
As ESM confronts Jamesville-DeWitt and Fowler this week, CBA will visit defending Class AA champion Henninger in a big early-season test on Friday night. Goodman will be chasing the 1,000-point plateau — and Wlekinski will be after his 350th career coaching win.