For their first games of 2019, the Christian Brothers Academy and Bishop Grimes boys basketball teams got together on Jan. 6 for the second annual Thruway Classic.
Five days later, the Brothers and Cobras went head-to-head, and it didn’t prove too close as Grimes, with a far more potent attack, pulled away for a 68-39 victory.
The first quarter saw CBA held to four points, and even when its offense did get going, the Cobras kept adding to its margin, eventually building a 49-25 lead through three periods.
Gus O’Connell stood out for Grimes, hitting six 3-pointers and finishing with 20 points overall. Each of the 13 players that saw action for the Cobras got at least one point as Jack Gutchess had eight points, with T.J. Bradford, Gop Arop and David Cifonelli each adding six points. Dan Anderson paced CBA with nine points.
Before this, the Thruway Classic at CBA on was a quartet of games between area private-school programs and those from the Buffalo area, with the Brothers facing St. Joseph’s and Grimes taking on Bishop Timon/St. Jude.
After Syracuse Academy of Science topped St. Mary’s 62-43 and Bishop Ludden beat St. Francis 55-52, Grimes took its turn and handled Timon 67-51, the key sequence again coming early as the Cobras limited the Tigers to two points in the first quarter.
From there, Grimes led the rest of the way, David Mo hitting three 3-pointers on his way to 17 points overall as Arop earned 15 points. Bradford finished with 14 points and Nate Gay contributed 13 points.
In the nightcap, CBA lost, 69-62, to St. Joseph’s, both teams starting hot but the Brothers getting left behind when the Marauders outscored them 18-6 in the second quarter.
Down 55-41 with one period left, CBA tried to rally, led by Aaron Clendenin, who got most of his 18 points from four 3-pointers as Dan Dan Anderson earned 16 points, Sam Haas had 11 points and Ryan Mackenzie had nine points.
After Grimes beat CBA, both would go to Onondaga Community College Sunday for the Zebra Classic, the Brothers facing “Holy War” rival Bishop Ludden after the Cobras took on Johnson City (Section IV).
It would mark the first time since the mid-1980s that Ludden would have someone other than Pat Donnelly coaching against CBA, Gallagher Driscoll having taken over after Donnelly’s retirement.
Back on Wednesday night, Manlius-Pebble Hill faced a tough assignment, traveling to Weedsport, and the state Class C no. 13-ranked Warriors turned back the Trojans 73-49.
Quick out of the gate, Weedsport led 21-9 after one period and 39-19 by halftime, protecting that margin the rest of the way as all 12 Warriors that saw action got at least one field goal, with Joel Blumer (16 points) and Josh O’Connor (14 points) leading the way.
Meanwhile, MPH again leaned on Kendale Thompson, who poured in 29 points, including four 3-pointers. The rest of the Trojans’ roster had just seven field goals as Ahmad El-Hindi had six points and Matt Ficano got five points.
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