Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Griffs' bench outlasts Brotherly onslaught

Bishop Maginn's Jerel Scott (5) defends Christian Brothers Academy point guard Galal Cancer during Tuesday's game at CBA. Scott scored seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter to lead the Griffins to a 69-63 victory at Ned McGraw Gymnasium. (J.S. Carras - The Record)

The Griffins really needed their bench players Tuesday night. Senior forward James Torres and junior guard Taran Buie found themselves in early foul trouble, meaning players such as Scott, Shavar Fields and Chris Jeffers had to step up coming off the bench.

Scott, who was a member of Maginn's 24-0 junior varsity team a year ago, has adapted quickly to the varsity game.

"It’s more physical," he said. "You have to be able to get through the screens and be able to choke down on defense."

The No. 2 ranked Griffins (4-0, 5-0) won their fifth consecutive game against their Albany County rival - a streak that dates back to the 2006-07 Section II Class AA title game.

All five Section II Class AA titles have gone to CBA or Maginn since the class was created for the 2003-04 season. CBA won three in a row from 2004-06 while Maginn has won the last two, defeating CBA in the title game both times.

CBA (4-1, 4-1) has only lost twice at home since the 2005-06 season - both defeats coming at the hands of Bishop Maginn.

"We don’t want to get caught up in the records and all that because we have enough pressure to play under because of who we are and what we created," Bishop Maginn head coach Rich Hurley said. "And it looks like these guys understand the guys in the past have created it, but, yes, you have to maintain it."

Kameron Ritter (24) scored a game-high 35 points for CBA, including a pair of treys late in the fourth quarter that narrowed the Brothers' deficit. (J.S. Carras - The Record)

He's exploded as a point scorer after the graduation of DeAndre Kennedy-Ebron and Malcolm Austin.

CBA hit seven three-pointers in the game, including a long bucket by Max Weaver as time wound down in the second quarter that gave CBA a one-point halftime advantage.

Bishop Maginn's Taran Buie (2) paced the Griffins with 16 points, but the bona fide Division I player has been struggling of late. (J.S. Carras - The Record)

"He’s under a lot of pressure to perform," Hurley said. "We’re trying to tell him to relax and go out and play. He knows there are a thousand eyes on him every time he plays the game, but he was fabulous tonight. Great leadership."

All in all, it was another Maginn-CBA classic with great performances by the Maginn bench and Ritter in a gutty, yet losing, effort.

These teams meet again on Feb. 6 and if recent history holds up, they may tangle in the Section II playoffs as well.

Check out the full scoop on Maginn-CBA in Wednesday's edition of The Record, along with our 2008 All-Area boys soccer team.
The 2008 All-Area football team runs on Christmas Day and the girls soccer team follows on Friday.

In hockey action, Saratoga Springs travels to Hudson Valley Community College to take on La Salle on Saturday evening (7:20 p.m.), which should be a classic CDHSHL game.

- Will Montgomery

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