Shore Conference Tournament Championship

Friday, Feb. 27, 8:30 p.m.

At the Multipurpose Activities Center, Monmouth University

No. 1 Christian Brothers Academy (20-4) vs. No. 11 Rumson-Fair Haven (21-4)

Note: Listen to the game live on the radio on WOBM 1160/1310 a.m. or streaming on ShoreSportsNetwork.com. You can also listen on your phone with this free app.

 

Lineups, Scouting Reports and History

CBA

Starting Lineup

Position No. Player Year Height SSN Scouting Report
PG 15 Shaun Belbey Sr. 5-10 Tough left-hander; Looking to drive and kick more than score, but can hit the open shot and get to the rim
SG 3 John Salcedo Jr. 5-10 Shooter gaining confidence late in the year on both ends
C 41 Pat Andree Jr. 6-8 Length on defense and standout skill on offense; Dangerous shooter and scorer, especially at his size
PF 24 Jack McGuire Jr. 6-7 Guard skills at 6-7; Good athlete and streaky scorer
SF 1 Jack Laffey Sr. 6-4 Good athlete who has developed a deadly three-point shot; Hard to find a weakness

 

Key Bench Players

Position No. Player Year Height SSN Scouting Report
Guard 12 Connor Aldridge Sr. 6-1 Active defender, good IQ on both ends with ability to finish
Guard 4 Derek Leohner Sr. 6-2 Coming off knee injury, can hit open looks on offense; Good passer

 

Head Coach: Geoff Billet, eighth season
Road to the Final: Defeated No. 16 Red Bank Catholic 63-49; No. 8 Manasquan 61-50; No. 4 Toms River North 65-29.
SCT Titles: 16 (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1993-96, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010)
SCT Title Appearances: 23 (Runner up in 1983, 1992, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2007, 2014)

Junior Jack McGuire (24) and CBA can give Rumson trouble with their size on Friday night in the SCT final. (Photo by Ray Richardson)

 

Rumson-Fair Haven

Starting Lineup

Position No. Player Year Height SSN Scouting Report
PG 3 Brendan Barry Jr. 6-1 Unlimited range and ultra-tough on both ends with deceptive length and strength on defense
SG 12 Alex Geiger Sr. 6-1 Spot-up shooter with some slashing ability; Hard-nosed defender and rebounder
C 24 Morgan Maguire Sr. 6-2 All-around threat; capable stepping out, at his best in the high post, driving against bigger defenders, and crashing the glass
SG 14 Thomas Famulary Sr. 6-1 Best athlete and one-on-one defender on the roster; Slasher on offense with streaky shooting ability
SG 15 Jack Luby Sr. 6-1 Similar profile to Geiger, but with a little less strength and a little more length

 

Key Bench Players

Position No. Player Year Height SSN Scouting Report
Center 35 Elijah MAllister Fr. 6-6 Shot-blocking machine has found his niche during the second half of the season
Guard 5 Mickey Schluter Jr. 6-0 Knock-down shooter and high-energy player off the bench
Forward 44 Kenny Ferrare Sr. 6-3 Standout strength and rebounding in the front court with good passing ability

 

Head Coach: Chris Champeau, sixth season
Road to the Final: Defeated No. 22 St. Rose 72-35; No. 6 Red Bank 50-42; No. 3 Freehold Township 54-43; No. 10 Neptune 37-29
SCT Titles: None
SCT Final Appearances: 1 (Runner-up in 2011)

Morgan Maguire scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds in Rumson's win over Neptune on Wednesday. (Photo by Ray Richardson)

 

Breakdown

There are probably a few teams that could have more of an underdog in a David-vs.-Goliath final involving CBA, but an 11th-seeded Rumson will play the role just fine. The Bulldogs are looking to win the program’s first Shore Conference Tournament championship after reaching the title game for the first time ever four years ago and will have to go through the team that has won more than half of the last 31 tournaments.

Not only is history on CBA’s side going into Friday night, but the immediate past suggests the Colts are ready to end the longest stretch between championships since winning their first in 1984. CBA lost in last year’s final to a Point Pleasant Beach team that played like it was simply its time to win the title, and CBA has had that same demeanor during the tournament. After comfortable wins over Red Bank Catholic and Manasquan to reach the tournament semifinals, the Colts put on a clinic in a 65-29 in over Toms River North, which included a 39-5 halftime lead for CBA.

As much as CBA would like to bottle that performance from Wednesday and break it back out for the championship game, the Colts can pretty much forget that. That kind of performance is one that will not be duplicated at this stage of the tournament for a long time, mostly because it takes one team being totally on its game and another that just can’t get out of its own way on a given day.

Considering how good Rumson has been on the defensive end this tournament, it’s even harder to see CBA running the Bulldogs out of the gym. The Colts might dominate certain aspects of the game – particularly those that pertain to size – but Rumson’s defense has allowed an average of 37 points per SCT game and would probably have to give up another 20 to even reach the possibility of a 20-point CBA win.

Rumson’s biggest challenge across the board will be the size of Pat Andree, Jack Laffey and Jack McGuire – all of whom can score from 23 feet and in and are all at least 6-foot-4. Rumson will likely try senior Morgan Maguire on Andree, but the Colts proved on Wednesday that they can coast even when Andree has an off shooting night. In that sense, the Bulldogs might be best served trying to key in on McGuire, who has been a consistent scoring option with Andree and Laffey.

The Bulldogs can turn to 6-6 freshman Elijah McAllister and 6-3 senior Kenny Ferrare for size off the bench, and Maguire has been up to the task of guarding bigger players. Ultimately, however, the Bulldogs will be looking to take advantage of a possible edge in the back court and will be trying to draw Andree away from the basket with their spread offense. Defense has been a focus for Rumson all tournament long, but there could be some areas to exploit CBA on the other end of the floor as well.

 

Coach Speak

“We've got to kind of forget this win. This is a mirage. We played great, and they unfortunately had a bad night. We've got to forget about this because Rumson isn't going to care how many we won by, so we've got to put this one behind us and get back to the drawing board.” – CBA coach Geoff Billet

“When I first came back here after coaching in Florida, people kept telling me the most important thing I had to do was keep kids from Rumson from going to CBA. So I said, ‘Okay, then we’re going to hold a summer league, we’re going to have camps, we’ll bring some NBA players around,’ to try and make us as good as we can be. CBA is the best team in the area, so I was told, and I always wanted to play them. I guess I should be careful what I wish for, but it’s a great challenge.” – Rumson coach Chris Champeau

 

Prediction

It’s hard to fathom another rout in favor of CBA, but then again, only one of the six neutral-court games during this tournament has been decided by fewer than 10 points, and that was Rumson’s 37-29 win over Neptune. Rumson should be able to pick away at CBA in certain spots and CBA will likely find more resistance on the defensive end as well, but the Colts have the majority of the advantages on paper. Had CBA not come so close to winning this tournament last year, perhaps an upset could be in the cards, but these Colts are clearly on a mission.

The Pick: CBA, 53-45