If all went well last week, the Bishop Ludden basketball teams would have total bragging rights over its main private-school rivals, but it did not quite work out that way.
And in the week’s biggest development, Ludden’s boys team lost, 56-50, to Christian Brothers Academy, its first blemish in the “Holy War” in quite some time.
Not since Dec. 11, 2011 had the Gaelic Knights lost to CBA, and that Ludden team eventually won a state Class B title. An entire group of players had grown up in the CBA program never knowing the singular satisfaction of beating its rivals in green.
Having won four of five going into the game, the Brothers’ defense was superb early, especially after going out in front. Already up 17-10, it limited the Gaelic Knights to just four points in the second quarter
CBA maintained its solid lead into the fourth quarter when, trailing 38-28, Ludden made a belated push, only to have the Brothers answer it and record, by far, its most satisfying win of the season.
Nick Valenti led all scorers with 23 points, including three 3-pointers. Dan Melvin got 11 points, with Dan Anderson adding 10 points.
Though Ludden was well-balanced, no one had more than the 12 points put up by Tyler Webster as Champ Reid and Mykell Kaigler each got 11 points, with Nic Button adding nine points and Monte Johnson seven points.
Back at home, the Ludden girls did beat CBA 47-36 to win its 13th in a row, even though Brothers junior Brooke Jarvis reached a career milestone, scoring her 1,000th career point late in regulation.
All told, Jarvis had 14 points in this game, but she, like the other CBA players, had difficulty producing much against a voracious Ludden defense.
Grabbing a 26-15 edge by halftime, the Gaelic Knights did not let anyone other than Jarvis score in double figures and had more depth on its side besides the 15 points from Aurora Deshaies.
Amarah Streiff had nine points, with Katie Costello (seven points), Lauren Petrie and Kaitlyn Kibling (six points each) helping out, too.
When both sets of Gaelic Knights hosted Bishop Grimes last Tuesday night, the hope was that they would replicate the sweep of the first twin bill between these two sides nine days earlier on the Cobras’ home court.
Going first, the Ludden girls again found itself in an exciting, up-and-down contest with Grimes, controlling the middle stages, and then needing a late cushion to hold off the Cobras and prevail 71-63.
Unlike the 74-62 game the teams had the first time around, Grimes did hold the lead, up 21-17 after a fast-paced first quarter, only to get contained as Ludden dominated the next two periods, outscoring the Cobras 38-17.
Deshaies did most of her damage here, amassing 28 points and 14 rebounds, with Amarah Streiff adding 16 points and six rebounds. Karleigh Leo had 15 points and seven rebounds as Lauren Petrie got 12 points and six rebounds.
Grimes made a spirited push down the stretch, reducing its deficit to single digits, but the comeback fell short, though Abby Wilkinson had 22 points as Jenna Sloan got 17 points, Sarah Snavlin 12 points and Lora Marial 10 points.
Then it was the boys turn, but here Grimes got even for its previous encounter with Ludden, starting each half on a strong note and eventually prevailing 71-53 over the Gaelic Knights.
During the second quarter, Ludden played its best, outscoring Grimes 22-9 to erase the 17-7 deficit it faced. But all that good work got undone during a brutal third period where the Cobras tore up the Gaelic Knights with a decisive 29-9 surge.
Reid had 14 points, with Grant Baker adding 12 points and Webster earning 11 points, but Button was held to six points.
Perhaps as important, Grimes’ T.J. Bradford avoided the foul trouble that plagued him in the first Ludden encounter and burned the Gaelic Knights for 28 points, with David Mo (16 points) and Nate Gay (12 points) helping out.
A night later, Ludden met Nottingham and held off the Bulldogs 69-68. A strong third quarter had put the Gaelic Knights in front, 54-44,with Reid working his way to 20 points and Button on his way to a 19-point outing..
Nottingham almost made up all the ground, led by Jaden Ezomo (19 points), Mazi Jackson (17 points) and Dominic Dickson (14 points), but the Gaelic Knights held on, with Webster (12 points) and Monte Johnson (10 points) joining Button and Reid in double figures.
Then came the loss to CBA, but Ludden bounced back Sunday by beating Global Concepts Charter School 61-49. Even if it was a fourth game in six days, the Gaelic Knights led most of the way as Button hit five 3-pointers on his way to 27 points and Reid got 17 points.