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JACKSON - Christian Brothers Academy teammates Jack Laffey and Pat Andree are as prolific of a scoring duo as the Colts have had in the last decade. Yet heading into the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A championship game against South Jersey power St. Augustine on Tuesday night, neither had the tournament hardware to show for their excellence like so many other Colts players of the last 30 years have.

After missing out on Shore Conference and NJSIAA championships over the last two-plus years, Laffey and Andree almost literally did not miss anything on Tuesday night at Jackson Liberty. Now they and their Colts teammates have a title to show for it.

Jack Laffey (right) and Pat Andree (left) combined for 66 points on 21-for-26 shooting from the field and 11-for-12 from three-point range as CBA knocked off St. Augustine in Tuesday's South Jersey Non-Public A final. (Photo by Larry Murphy, Sports Pix NJ)

Laffey and Andree combined for 66 points on 21-for-26 shooting from the field and 11-for-12 from behind the three-point arc, and their late-game heroics also helped stave off a rally by the top seed in the section for an 83-77 Colts win. St. Augustine (27-2) had just one loss entering Tuesday and had not lost to a New Jersey opponent.

"Ever since we lost in the Shore Conference final (to Rumson-Fair Haven on Feb. 27), I've gone into every game thinking it could be the last one I ever play," Laffey said. "This tournament was our last chance to win a championship at CBA, and I didn't plan on leaving here without winning a championship."

CBA celebrated its first sectional title since 2009 after a thriller against St. Augustine Prep. (Photo by Larry Murphy/Sports Pix NJ)

The sectional championship is the first for CBA since 2009 and the Colts will play in the Non-Public A final Saturday at Pine Belt Arena in Toms River against the winner of Wednesday's game between Seton Hall Prep and Pope John XXIII.

Laffey scored a career-high 38 points and Andree added 28, and the Colts needed every single point to survive a fourth-quarter surge by the Hermits. Laffey made his first seven shots from the field and finished 13-for-17 from the floor, including 24 points in the first half. Andree, meanwhile, shot 8-for-9 overall and 7-for-7 from three-point range. He scored 19 of his points in the second half, with five of his threes coming after the intermission. As a team, CBA shot 13-for-16 from behind the arc.

"In the summer time, Jack and I would always play on different teams and, basically, whichever one of us got hot, his team would win," Andree said. "When one of us is on, we're a tough team to beat, and if we both have games like that, it's almost impossible. That's a really good team we just beat. We didn't miss much, and they still pushed us until the end."

Andree hit a fade-away three from the right wing just before time expired in the third quarter and junior Jack McGuire drained a three from the opposite wing to open the fourth and stretch CBA's lead to 61-44, matching its largest of the game. St. Augustine then mounted a furious comeback, outscoring CBA 20-6 over the next four-plus minutes to pull within 67-64.

"I told Pat when he was a freshman that he's the best bad-shot shooter I've seen," CBA coach Geoff Billet said. "Sometimes he's going to take some shots that you wouldn't want most people taking, but when he's feeling it like he was tonight, those turn out to be good shots. I learned early on you kind of have to let him go and have the freedom to take a shot if he feels he can make it."

Andree answered with his fifth three of the half as he was bumped and converted the four-point play on the ensuing free throw to put CBA back up by seven. St. Augustine chopped the lead back down to three, 73-70, with 2:11 left and would not get closer. Laffey and Andree beat the Hermits' press for a lay-up, with Andree hitting a cutting Laffey for a 75-70 lead with 1:45 left.

Andree then made one of his two key defensive plays in the final to minutes when he blocked a shot by Justyn Mutts and snared the loose ball away. Laffey then made both ends of a one-and-one to stretch the lead back to seven with 1:03 left. Both teams traded free throws to make it 79-72 and junior Sa'eed Nelson knocked down a three from the top of the key to cut the CBA lead to four with 32 seconds left.

Prior to Nelson's three, Mutts stole the ball in the back court and passed to an open Mke Toner for a potential lay-up to cut the CBA lead back to three, but Andree blocked the shot. St. Augustine again got the ball back on a turnover, but was whistled for an illegal screen, setting up two Andree free throws to make it 79-72.

After Andree made one of two free throws with 27.5 seconds left, CBA got a stop and Laffey drew an intentional foul along the CBA baseline with 15 seconds left. He knocked down both free throws to make it 82-75 and effectively seal the win for CBA.

"I haven't seen a team shoot like that this year," 38-year St. Augustine coach Paul Rodio said. "I haven't seen a team shoot like that in a long time."

Senior Jack Laffey hoisted the trophy in triumph after exploding for a career-high 38 points for CBA. (Photo by Larry Murphy/Sports Pix NJ)

McGuire added nine points, five rebounds and four assists for CBA, while Andree also had nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Senior point guard Shaun Belbey also handed out seven assists to go along with his four points.

Nelson led four St. Augustine players in double-figures with 30 points, with Mutts adding 10 and Austin Kennedy scoring 14. Mike Toner also scored 11 of his 13 in the fourth quarter to help spearhead the comeback.

Tuesday's win was redemption of sorts for the Colts, who were routed 50-24 by Rumson-Fair Haven in the SCT championship game on Feb. 27. In that game, Andree and Laffey combined for nine points, unfathomable for anyone watching the pair play for the first time on Tuesday.

"The Shore Conference was a big disappointment for us, and I was especially disappointed for Jack," Billet said. "We really wanted to get him that championship and when we got back to practice, we said, 'Hey look, if we can get to Jackson Liberty, that's a shot at another championship and a clean slate.' So I'm really happy for Jack and Shaun and the seniors who got another shot to go out on top."


Box Score

CBA 83, St. Augustine 77






CBA (24-5)






St. Augustine (27-2)







CBA (83): Shaun Belbey 2 0-0 4, John Salcedo 1 1-2 4, Pat Andree 8 5-8 28, Jack McGuire 4 0-0 9, Jack Laffey 13 8-9 38, Connor Aldridge 0 0-0 0, Derek Leohner 0 0-0 0. Totals: 28 14-19 83

Three-pointers: Salcedo, Andree 7, McGuire, Laffey 4

St. Augustine (77): Sa’eed Nelson 9 11-18 30, Austin Kennedy 6 0-0 14, Nate Aldrich 3 0-0 6, Justyn Mutts 4 2-5 10, Walt Harvey 0 0-0 0, Mike Toner 5 0-0 13, George Steffa 0 4-4 4, Max Lamcken 0 0-0 0, Nick Amechi 0 0-0 0. Totals: 27 17-27 77

Three-pointers: Nelson, Kennedy 2, Toner 3

Fouled Out: Kennedy