With SCT title in tow, Colts looking for more

first_imgBY DOUG MCKENZIE Staff Writer Oftentimes, when you have two teams with different styles of play, it will come down to which team can make the right adjustments. In the Shore Conference Tournament championship game on Feb. 28, Christian Brothers Academy basketball head coach Geoff Billet recognized very quickly that he needed to make an adjustment if his team was to slow down a smaller, quicker Neptune team. Led by their talented point guard, D.J. Gutridge, the Scarlet Fliers were giving the Colts fits in the early going, as Gutridge continuously found ways to penetrate to the basket, setting up easy buckets for his teammates. The result was an 18-11 lead after one quarter of play. That’s when Billet made the key adjustment that altered the direction of the game. Once the Colts switched to the 2-3 zone to start the second quarter, the easy baskets stopped coming for Neptune. In fact, the Scarlet Fliers managed just three points in the quarter, allowing CBA to build a 24-21 win, thanks in large part to an 11-0 run to start the quarter. The second half was more of the same, as Neptune struggled to find its shooting touch from the outside (shooting just 17- for-51 for the game, including just 5-for- 17 from three-point range), while CBA took advantage of its size down low to post a hard-fought 58-49 win and claim its 15th SCT title, and first since 2006. “They scored three points in the second quarter, and obviously [the zone] was working so we stuck with it,” said senior center Pat Light, who led his team with 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting and added eight rebounds. Light’s dominance down low was the difference in this one, as Neptune struggled to match up with him in the post. And when Light wasn’t scoring, his presence opened up the outside shots for his teammates, who took full advantage. CBA shot a stellar 13-for-15 (86 percent) from the floor in the second half, led by senior guards Brian Neller, who had 15, and Roy and Mabrey, who finished with 11 points and six assists. Sophomore forward Matt McMullen also played well for the Colts, scoring nine points and grabbing seven rebounds, and helping punish the Scarlet Fliers with his size. While the 13-3 second-quarter run gave the Colts a lead it never relinquished, it also set the tone for the re- mainder of the game. Once CBA realized that Neptune had no answer for the 6-7 Light down low, the Colts continued to feed him the ball, setting up wide-open shots throughout the rest of the game. I wanted the ball every time,” Light said. “They would get it to me, and I just had a size advantage, so I just made a move and went right to the basket.” The Scarlet Fliers, whose tallest player is 6-2, played hard until the very end and would not go away. In fact, Neptune had cut the CBA lead to 30-29 in the third quarter before the Colts used a pair of baskets from Light and layups by senior Matt Byrnes to push the lead back to 41- 34. Then a 7-0 run early in the fourth gave CBA a 12-point lead with just over four minutes to play in the game. To their credit, Neptune stormed back again, putting together an 8-0 run that cut the lead to 51-47. However, the Colts kept their poise and made their foul shots down the stretch to preserve their lead and earn the win. Neptune was led by forward Dan Singleton, who scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Senior guard Jabari Joyner added 13 points, while Gutridge, who started the game looking like the player who might be the difference in the contest, finished with seven points, seven assists and six turnovers. Needless to say, it was CBA’s ability to keep Gutridge out of the lane with its zone defense that enabled the Colts to turn the tides after an explosive first-quarter performance from the Scarlet Fliers. With the win, CBA (24-2) entered the state tournament having won 23 of their last 24 games, with the lone loss coming in a heartbreaking overtime defeat to St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth (24-3), the state’s top-ranked team. The Colts have beaten Archbishop Malloy and St. Anthony’s, as well as every Shore Conference opponent they have faced this year. That streak continued in the second round of the NJSIAA Non-Public South A tournament, where CBA is the third seed behind Holy Spirit and St. Joseph of Metuchen. The Colts won their secondround game, 83-50, over St. John Vianney, as Mabrey and Neller led the way with 20 and 13 points, respectively. This one was over early as the Colts came out and dominated from the start. Then, this past Saturday, the Colts earned their place in the sectional final with a 58-48 win over St. Joseph’s. Once again it was Mabrey leading the way with 20 points, while Light added 12 and Mc- Mullen 11. CBA was set to play top-seed Holy Spirit on Tuesday for the sectional title, with the winner to advance to the Public A finals, with a shot at the Tournament of Champions on the line. This is a vastly improved CBA team from the squad that started the season seeking its own identity. Billet, in just his second year, has proved to be one of the Shore’s most complete coaches, using his experience and basketball expertise to groom a group of talented players into one of the most cohesive, fundamentally strong teams in the state. As Neptune found out in the SCT final, once they figure out how to beat you, the Colts are very good at executing in that regard. As a result, they have become the team that nobody wants to play right now.last_img read more

2 men killed in Kent gas station pump rage

first_imgKENT — Police are checking surveillance video to identify a car that fled a Kent gas station after two men were fatally shot in an argument over blocking access to a pump.It happened about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at a Shell service station.Witnesses tell KOMO two men with music blaring parked in a way that blocked other customers. Two other men who complained were shot in an argument.A Kent fire department spokesman, Kyle Ohashi, says medics from the city or a nearby King County station declared the victims dead at the scene.A witness told The Seattle Times the suspect car is a black Cadillac.last_img read more