Sunday, January 3, 2010

Top 10 stories of 2009: No. 4 - CBA escapes Class AA bracket

Fans around the Capital Region were waiting for the ultimate Albany private school boys basketball game in 2009, when Bishop Maginn would finally face Albany Academy.

Turns out we all forgot about another private school.

Maginn and Academy met in the Section II Class AA semifinals and it was without a doubt the best game of the season. Academy took Maginn to overtime, and Jimmer Bennett made the game-winning layup with just seconds to go.

But the Cadets ran into the Brothers from Christian Brothers Academy in the championship game and barely put up a fight. CBA, making its seventh consecutive appearance in a Section II title game, topped Academy 62-49.

Andrew Stire, left, was named the Class AA tournament MVP and his sidekick, Kameron Ritter (right) will be leading the Brothers on their run toward another finals appearance later this winter. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

The Brothers may have lacked the star power that Maginn and Academy had, but they played a team game and never wavered from those principles, which is why the school has been so successful year-in and year-out.

Albany Academy's Jimmer Bennett looks to dribble around Bishop Maginn's Taran Buie in the 2008-09 Section II Class AA semifinals.

Shenendehowa also had a wonderful 2008-09 season and were edged by CBA in another fantastic semifinal game.

This year, CBA and Shen could be on a collision course in the AA finals, but you can never count out Maginn, Schenectady, Albany Academy, Albany High and any of the Suburban schools. The 2009 tournament may have had more star power than any in recent memory but the 2010 race could be an exciting fight to the finish.

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