Shore Conference Tournament Bracket

BRICK TWP. – Christian Brothers Academy basketball coach Geoff Billet and his players would prefer that their team be the best in the Shore Conference every season, which also happens to be the year-in, year-out standard for the program.

  • Listen to the game broadcast at the end of this story

At the moment, however, the Colts are three years removed from being the top program in the Shore Conference, and in order to get back to the role of powerhouse, they are happy to play the role of underdog.

CBA senior Chika Ekekeugbor blocks a shot during the Colts' win over Lakewood. (Photo by Matt Manley)

The second-seeded Colts continued their season-long roll through the Shore Conference Wednesday in the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals by beating defending tournament champion and No. 3 Lakewood, 57-47, to improve to 16-0 against the Shore Conference this season.

CBA will play No. 1 Point Beach in Saturday’s final, scheduled for 3 p.m. at Monmouth University. Point Beach is also unbeaten against Shore Conference competition and also beat Lakewood during the regular season.

“I know some people think our division (Class A North) wasn’t that good this year and we hadn’t beaten anyone else in the Shore Conference, but we still felt we played some really good teams from other conferences,” sophomore Pat Andree said. “There have been some doubters and that’s fine. We like the idea of being the underdog because if no one expects us to win, we can go out and play with nothing to lose.”

As they have done against most opponents this season, the Colts imposed their will on the boards early Wednesday against the Piners and pulled away from Lakewood from the free-throw line and behind the three-point line. Lakewood ended up owning a 25-23 edge on the glass, but the Piners did not collect an offensive rebound in the first half and did most of their damage on the glass with CBA trying to close the game in the fourth quarter.

“I don’t know if we dominated them on the boards like we have other teams, but we probably out-rebounded them or at least stayed close,” CBA coach Geoff Billet said. “We wanted to hold them in the forties, stay even on the boards and try to figure out any way we could to get the ball in the basket.”

CBA shot 17-for-20 from the free-throw line and knocked down six threes, with five different players hitting a three-point shot. Lakewood went 13-for-22 from the line, and senior Dan Niblack accounted for the Piners' lone threes.

10 - Pat Andree for 3 from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

8 - Evan Gordinier 3 from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

CBA took the lead for good midway through the second quarter. During the second half, Lakewood never got closer than three points. The Piners pulled within four at 48-44 with just under four minutes to play, but CBA senior Louie Pillari banked in a shot to push the lead back to six and Andree later converted a lay-up off an offensive rebound and feed from junior Jack Laffey to build the lead back to eight.

13 - Louie Pillari bank shot from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

Pillari led CBA with 14 points and Andree added 13 points and nine rebounds. Pillari scored 10 of his points in the second half.

3 - Louie Pillari for 3 from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

Niblack scored a game-high 25 points and kept Lakewood in the game with 14 second-half points.

“Defense was a big key coming in because we knew scoring in the half court was going to be very difficult,” Billet said. “We knew we needed to keep them out of transition and for the most part we kept them in the halfcourt, and we were able to do some things offensively against them. It’s a testament to our offense and a testament to Lakewood that we’re happy with 57 points. They’ve been an impressive team this year, and it took one of our better games to beat them.”

7 - Dan Niblack scoop shot from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

CBA last played Point Beach two seasons ago in the Shore Conference Tournament and beat the Garnet Gulls in the opening round. The two programs played every year from 2010 to 2012, with CBA winning two of the three meetings.

“It’s been a couple years, but for a few years, we would see each other pretty much every year in this tournament,” Billet said. “When I started to see our team coming together over the summer, I started to picture us and Point Beach as the two teams that could be in this position. I thought we probably had the two best teams, and now we have a chance to play each other. We’re aware of the talent they have, and we’re going to go to work and see if we can figure out a way to get a win.”

4 - Amir Tyler steal and dunk from All Shore Media on Vimeo.


Box Score

CBA 57, Lakewood 47






Lakewood (21-4)






CBA (17-4)







Lakewood (47): Naquese Joshua 0 0-0 0, Amir Tyler 1 2-4 6, Ben Watson 3 0-0 6, Dan Niblack 9 5-5 25, Maurice Diawara 1 0-3 2, Hassan Diawara 2 3-7 7, Sean Barksdale 0 3-3 3, Ryan Lawrence 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 13-22 47

Three-pointers: Niblack 2

CBA (57): Rob Kennedy 1 4-4 7, Louie Pillari 5 3-4 14, Pat Andree 4 4-4 13, Chima Ekekeugbor 2 3-4 7, Jack Laffey 2 1-2 6, Evan Gordinier 3 0-0 8, Shaun Belbey 0 2-2 2. Totals: 17 17-20 57

Three-pointers: Kennedy, Pillari, Andree, Laffey, Gordinier 2


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Pre Game - 1st Half


Half time - 2nd Half - Post Game