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WEST LONG BRANCH - Rumson-Fair Haven junior Brendan Barry went into the second half of the Shore Conference Tournament final against top-seeded Christian Brothers Academy Friday at Monmouth University with two points on 1-for-5 shooting - continuing the trend of Barry finding points hard to come by in the Shore Conference Tournament.

In the second half, with the aid of one of the all-time great defensive performances in SCT history, Barry scored more points than the No. 1 team in the Shore did during the entire game.

Rumson-Fair Haven - the No. 11 seed in the SCT - held No. 1 CBA to five second-half points and the lowest point total in the Shore Conference Tournament final since 1938 en route to a resounding 50-24 win that clinched the program its first SCT championship.

Rumson-Fair Haven dominated CBA in the second half and captured its first Shore Conference Tournament title. (Photo by Matt Manley)

"To tell you the truth, I never expected it would be like this tonight," Barry said. "But it still feels just as good to win."

"It’s the most unbelievable experience of my whole entire life," senior Thomas Famulary said. "I don’t even know how to put it into words. It’s all heart and defense. We knew coming in it was going to take a defensive effort to win and from that point, it was just all heart. And that won us the game."

The Bulldogs were playing in the championship game for just the second time in the history of the program after losing in the 2011 final in coach Chris Champeau's second year on the job.

"I couldn’t have really scripted it better," Champeau said. "Going back four years and losing to Raritan here, it’s sweet to think about. Not to be overdramatic, but this is one of those tournaments where you never know if you are ever going to get back. You’re a team like Rumson, people thought that could have been a once-in-a-lifetime thing."

Barry scored 25 of his game-high 27 points in the second half and shot 7-for-8 from the floor from the third quarter on to help the Bulldogs turn a 19-19 halftime deadlock into a rout. Barry averaged 23 points per game during the regular season, but was averaging just over 13 in four prior SCT games. At one point during a stretch of the third and fourth quarters, Barry scored 16 straight Rumson points, during which time CBA scored only four points as a team.

"He’s been such a great player for us and for the last five games, literally, the entire team has been focused on him: double-teams, triple-teams, grabbing, hand-checks, you name it," Champeau said. "Going into the third quarter, I said, ‘B, they are not doubling you. So I’m not looking for you to pass. Beat the first guy and then when they come, try to get something.’"

Barry gave Rumson the lead for good by hitting his first shot of the third quarter, a three-pointer from the top of the key. Leading 22-20, the Bulldogs embarked on a 12-0 run to go ahead 34-20 by the early part of the fourth quarter. Rumson outscored CBA 13-1 in the third quarter, and after a three by senior Alex Geiger put the Bulldogs ahead, 28-20, Barry went on to score Rumson's next 16 points to make the score 44-21.

"I was just watching him do his thing and I had so much adrenaline that, literally, after every shot, I would just start laughing. Like cracking up," Famulary said. "It’s so much fun playing with him, he’s an unbelievable player and he just makes everyone around him so much better."

Barry capped his 16-point run with a three from the corner, which also capped a 22-1 run that buried CBA.

"It felt really good," Barry said. "At one point I looked up at the scoreboard and it was 41-21 and I was like, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’ I had no idea we were up that big."

Over five Shore Conference Tournament games, Rumson allowed an average of 34.6 points per game. In the last two - the first of which was a 37-29 in over Neptune in the semifinals -  Rumson has held two teams that have combined to win 38 Shore Conference championships to an average of 26.5 points.

Brenday Barry scored 25 of his 27 points in the second half to complement a lock-down Rumson defense on Friday night. (Photo by Larry Murphy, Sports Pix NJ)

CBA shot just 1-for-19 from the floor in the second half and did not make its first field goal until 2:08 left in the fourth quarter on a three by Shaun Belbey. The Colts shot 10-for-47 from the floor in the game, 2-for-22 from three-point range and 2-for-8 from the free-throw line.

CBA endured one of the most lopsided halves in SCT final history two nights after subjecting Toms River North to similar punishment in the semifinals. The Colts raced out to a 25-0 lead midway through the second quarter and led the Mariners 39-5 at halftime.

"It’s hard to explain, especially because I felt like we had a really efficient offensive game the other night," CBA coach Geoff Billet said. "The way we had been playing, it’s hard to imagine. As a coach, you can sometimes see some things coming. It was hard to see this coming."

Senior Jack Laffey and junior Pat Andree both entered the game averaging right near 20 points each and junior Jack McGuire entered averaging 13 points per game. The trio that entered the game averging nearly 53 points between them combined for only 14 on Friday night.

"(Senior forward) Morgan Maguire was just trying to knock Andree off the post and Geiger really locked up Laffey in the second half," Barry said. "We tried to clog the middle and let their guards beat us if they could."

"Honestly, 19-19 at halftime, I was pretty happy because I thought we would snap out of it in the second and, as you can tell, we didn’t snap out of it," Billet said. "It’s the first time all year that Jack (McGuire), Jack (Laffey) and Pat (Andree) all had a game like that. Maybe one or maybe even two of them sometimes will, but then it’s really hard to stop all three. Tonight was the first time all year that that’s happened to us."

Friday's loss continues CBA's longest SCT title drought since winning its first championship in 1984. The Colts have not won the championship since 2010 and prior to that season, CBA had not gone more than three seasons without winning a conference championship.

Famulary scored all nine of his points in the first half and also pulled down 11 rebounds despite sitting seven minutes due to foul trouble. His offense carried the Bulldogs through the first half while Barry labored through his 1-for-5 shooting half.

"He really kept us in the game in the first half," Barry said of Famulary. "He would just drive to my side and they wouldn’t help off me so if they were giving him points, he was taking them."

"I’m not a coach that has to run nine passes in the set," Champeau said. "I looked at the film and said ‘Fam is quicker than anyone they have. So I’m going to pop him to the top, let him take his guy and hopefully we can find somebody open in a corner.’

"I wanted to go five out, spread them out, bring Andree and Laffey out and go by them. That was the game-plan."

In his sixth season at the helm, Champeau led Rumson to its first SCT title after getting them to the final in his second season and rebuilding following the loss of the seniors on that team.

"It’s just the beginning for the program," Famulary said. "It says a lot about coach (Champeau). He has been here for six years, he put in his program and he finally won one. Now it’s all up from here."

 

 

Box Score

Rumson-Fair Haven 50, CBA 24

1

2

3

4

F

Rumson-Fair Haven (22-4)

6

13

13

18

50

CBA (20-5)

9

10

1

4

24

 

Rumson-Fair Haven (50): Brendan Barry 8 8-11 27, Alex Geiger 2 2-2 7, Morgan Maguire 1 0-1 4, Thomas Famulary 3 2-3 9, Jack Luby 1 0-0 2, Mickey Schluter 0 0-2 0, Elijah McCallister 0 0-2 0, Kenny Ferrare 0 0-0 0, Jackson Reid 1 0-0 3, Tim Morales 0 0-0 0, Conner McCann 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 12-21 50

Three-pointers: Barry 3, Geiger, Famulary, Reid

CBA (24): Shaun Belbey 3 0-0 7, John Salcedo 1 0-0 3, Pat Andree 3 1-6 7, Jack McGuire 2 1-2 5, Jack Laffey 1 0-0 2, Connor Aldridge 0 0-0 0, Derek Leohner 0 0-0 0, Joe Siegle 0 0-0 0, Dan Cleary 0 0-0 0, Luke Chece 0 0-0 0, Connor Gilmore 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10 2-8 24

Three-pointers: Belbey, Salcedo