MIDDLETOWN - Christian Brothers Academy senior Pat Andree rarely finds himself in a shooting funk, but when he missed his first four shots Sunday in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals against Lakewood at Collins Arena on the campus of Brookdale Community College, he leaned on his teammates early until the shots started falling.

Andree caught fire after the slow start to score 25 points and senior Sam Houston led a strong effort from the supporting cast with 16 points to help the second-seeded Colts beat No. 7 Lakewood 63-52. CBA will next play No. 3 Manasquan in the semifinals Tuesday at Pine Belt Arena in Toms River.

"We knew they were going to come out fired up and physical and we had to respond," Andree said. "It's Lakewood vs. CBA, it's a big rivalry and we expected a batteld. That's a really good team. If they are really a seven seed, then there must be some really good teams left in this tournament."

Andree added eight rebounds, four assists and four steals to his scoring effort, and also took a key charge late with 2:20 left and Lakewood trying to cut the lead to four.

CBA's Pat Andree goes up for a shot over Lakewood's Adiam Palmer. (Photo by Ray Richardson)

"You see in a game like today that he's our leader," Houston said of Andree. "He's a four-year player. He helps us all out in so many ways. He even took the charge there when they were coming back that really saved us. He just does everything for us and it gets us a lot of open shots because teams are so worried about him."

Lakewood rallied to cut the CBA lead to two early in the fourth quarter. The Piners scored the first eight points of the fourth to pull within 50-48 and had another chance to cut the deficit to 53-51, but senior Amir Tyler missed a breakaway dunk after stealing the ball. CBA answered with a layup by Houston and a three by Andree to push the lead to 58-49.

"I don't doubt he can make that dunk," Andree said of Tyler, who took off from about a step-and-a-half inside the foul line. "I don't want to say theings would have turned out different if he made that, but it would have been interesting. We caught a break there."

After Lakewood pulled within 50-48, Andree scored as he was fouled off a feed from Houston and hit the ensuing free throw to push the lead back to 53-48.

Houston added five rebounds and four assists and scored 10 of his points in the first half to help fill the void when Andree got off to the 0-for-4 start in the first quarter. Houston scored six during this first quarter, which saw Lakewood jump out to a 17-14 lead by the end of the period.

Senior Jack McGuire also scored 10 points to go with seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks for CBA despite not starting the game due to a coaching decision by Geoff Billet.

Houston and senior Nick Mugavero - the latter of whom started in place of McGuire - have come on strong in the scoring department lately, turning in more frequent double-figure scoring games. Neither entered the season with any significant varsity experience and no player on the team returned with much varsity playing time other than Andree, McGuire and senior John Salcedo.

"Early on the season, a lot of teams did the same thing (Lakewood) did to us today - doubling Pat, doubling Jack and making the rest of us beat them. That was the first varsity experience for a lot of us, and at first we not not all have been totally ready to take on the scoring responsibility, but as the season has gone on, everyone has figured out their roles and can step up and make shots and finish when the opportunity comes."

Tyler finished with 14 points to lead Lakewood and senior Kaseam Wilson added 13 for the Piners. Junior Adiam Palmer poured in eight points and spent most of the game defending Andree - effectively so for the first quarter.

Lakewood began the game 3-for-5 from behind the three-point arc and was 4-for-10 before the Piners went cold. They finished the game 4-for-20 from three-point range, missing their final 10 attempts.

CBA, meanwhile, did not rely on the three-pointer as much as usual, but still got a boost from behinf the arc. Andree connected on three of his seven attempts despite missing his first three, while the team shot 5-for-15. Senior Jack Boyan went 2-for-3 and finished with six points.

Both teams struggled from the free-throw line, with CBA missing eight straight foul shots at one point. in the first half. Lakewood returned the favor during the first two quarters and at one point, the teams had started the game 4-for-19 from the line. CBA salvaged a 12-for-23 game from the line as a team, while Lakewood finished just 6-for-17.

CBA will play Manasquan in the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals as the Colts try to win their first title since 2010. They have lost in each of the last two SCT finals, incuding a stunning 50-24 rout at the hands of Rumson-Fair Have last year. Manasquan beat Rumson Sunday in a triple-overtime classic to earn a date with CBA.

"We know Manasquan pretty well," Andree said. "I think we learned last year that if we're not on our game, we're going to get beat and Rumson definitely beat us. I think we learned from that and it helped us to win (the NJSIAA South Non-Public A title) and it's helped us get to where we are now."

The five straight seasons without an SCT title is the longest drought for CBA since the Colts won their first title in 1984. Fittingly enough, CBA beat Mater Dei in the 1984 championship game and would meet the top-seeded Seraphs in this year's final if the seeds hold true. Mater Dei has not been to the SCT final in any other season outside of that 1984 run.

"We feel like we were good enough to be the number one seed," Andree said. "We played probably the toughest schedule of anybody in the Shore and held our own. But Mater Dei has been really good too and they are also deserving of the one seed and it's hard to argue with them getting it. They're basically undefeated this year and they haven't lost in a while. Fortunately, we're going to have a chance to prove we're the best team on the court and we'll have to start with another tough game on Tuesday night."

 

Box Score

CBA 63, Lakewood 52

1 2 3 4 F
Lakewood (19-5) 17 8 15 12 52
CBA (20-3) 14 20 16 13 63

 

Lakewood (52): Kaseam Wilson 6 0-0 13, Amir Tyler 4 4-7 14, Ryzson Barnes 2 0-0 4, Adiam Palmer 3 1-6 8, Sean Barksdale 3 1-2 7, Zyheir Jones 3 0-2 6, Drayton Bonaparte 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 6-17 52

Three-pointers: Wilson, Tyler 2, Palmer

CBA (63): John Salcedo 0 2-3 2, Jack Boyan 2 0-0 6, Pat Andree 8 6-10 25, Sam Houston 8 0-2 16, Nick Mugavero 2 0-0 4, Jack McGuire 3 4-8 10, Robert Mahala 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 12-23 63

Three-pointers: Boyan 2, Andree 3