Dec 06, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Blessed with lots of athletic talent, and even more hunger based on the way last season ended, the Bishop Ludden boys basketball team set off on its 2009-10 campaign.
The Gaelic Knights went 12-8 a season ago, suffering a first-round Section III Class A playoff defeat to Fowler, and are bent on not having that take place again.
And even though five seniors departed, the return of proven veterans like John Rooney, Jared Littlejohn and Omar Osbourne gives Ludden a good chance at standing up to opponents in the OHSL Freedom division — and maybe even ending its four-year “Holy War” drought against archrival CBA.
Before all that, though, the Gaelic Knights first had to navigate an opening week that nearly produced three consecutive wins.
Ludden’s season tipped off with a one-sided affair against Homer in Geddes that ended with head coach Pat Donnelly using everyone on its roster in a 70-21 romp over the Trojans.
Steadily, Ludden worked its way to a 36-13 halftime lead and kept building the margin as 12 of the 13 players that saw action got at least two points.
Rooney, with 17 points, nearly matched Homer by himself. Littlejohn, Matt Rogers and Tyler Young each had eight points, while Corey Hunter got seven points and Tyler Young earned six points.
Still at home Friday night, Ludden took on Fowler and, except for the first quarter, excelled on the defensive side in a 56-47 victory over the Falcons.
Getting some payback for losing to Fowler 47-37 on this same floor in last year’s playoffs, the Gaelic Knights trailed, 18-14, after one period, but used its defense to limit the Falcons to 10 or fewer points each of the last three periods.
This gave Ludden enough time to shake out its own offense and inch in front, 39-37, before a solid fourth quarter that saw the hosts get clear.
Dennis Kelly stepped up, in a big way, earning a career-best 16 points. Mark DeAngelis was close behind, earning 14 points, while Littlejohn put up 12 points and Rooney added nine points. Malcolm Jones paced Fowler with 13 points.
Less than 24 hours later, Ludden was meeting Bishop Grimes during the Peppino’s Classic at Henninger High School’s newly-dedicated Joe Mazella Court. And it looked good until a furious rally pushed the Cobras past the Gaelic Knights 50-47.
All through the first half, Ludden honed in on Grimes star Mike Stone, shutting him down as the Gaelic Knights doubled the Cobras’ output in the second quarter and took a 22-17 lead to the break.
But Stone would bring Grimes back, getting 12 of her 20 points in the second half, none bigger than the 3-pointer with less than a minute left that put the Cobras in front. Tavon Moore would add some late free throws, too.
Rooney, with 17 points, was the lone Ludden player to score in double figures, though Littlejohn and Kelly (eight points each) came close. Stone got help from Kucjok Ater, who had 12 points.
Ludden’s first true road game took place Tuesday, at Mexico, before the Gaelic Knights come home Friday to meet Cortland.