MARLBORO - Senior Josh Cohen knows his Christian Brothers Academy basketball team is going to have its games and its runs in which his teammates catch fire from the outside.

Friday's season opener at Marlboro was not one of those games and yet the Colts still put up 70 points and routed the No. 6 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10.

Cohen's interior play helped him rack up 19 points, nine rebounds and four blocks and senior teammate Stephen Braunstein got to the basket to the tune of 23 points as the No. 2 Colts rolled to a 70-51 win over the Mustangs.

CBA seniors Josh Cohen (with ball) and Stephen Braunstein led the Colts to victory Friday at Marlboro. (Photo by Paula Lopez)
CBA seniors Josh Cohen (with ball) and Stephen Braunstein led the Colts to victory Friday at Marlboro. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

"You're going to have games where it's not going in like you want it to and have to be able to find ways to score points and, more importantly, get stops," CBA coach Geoff Billet said. "It think the fact that we didn't shoot it well and still scored 70 shows that our guys aren't one-dimensional."

CBA's defense starred for most of the game, particularly in the first half, which began with Marlboro shooting 1-for-11 and ended with the Mustangs scoring 19 points against a determined Colts team. Marlboro shot 17-for-59 (28.8 percent) and was 0-for-9 from three-point distance before Aleksy Friedman hit the team's only three in the final seconds of the game.

On its own end, CBA shot 3-for-15 from three-point range but overcame it with Braunstein getting to the basket in transition, Cohen scoring in spurts and freshman guard Ryan Mabrey delivering 12 points in his varsity debut.

"We can shoot it and eventually, we're going to get hot," Cohen said. "I thought we moved the ball well and when the shots weren't going down, guys got to the basket and got on the offensive glass."

Mabrey, the younger brother of former CBA standout Roy and Manasquan girls basketball stars and high Division I talents Michaela, Marina and Dara, also added five rebounds and four assists in his first high school game and hit two of the Colts' three three-pointers.

Marlboro junior Alex Ratner scored 20 points to lead Marlboro but had to leave the game early in the fourth quarter due to a cramp in his left leg. By then, CBA had already built a 58-42 lead.

"One of things we wanted to do was make him work hard to get his shots and start to get to his legs a little bit," Billet said. "We weren't hoping he would have to leave the game but I think that was the result of us being able to tire him out."

Ratner helped Marlboro pull within nine points on two occasions in the third quarter but CBA responded with a 19-4 run to balloon the lead to 68-44.

Billet was encouraged by the 70 points with only the three-pointers because not only does it mean the Colts don't have to rely on the three - it means they will be even more dangerous when they start going in.

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