Boys Basketball – Kevin Bauman Leads RBC Past CBA in Founders’ Cup
RED BANK - Kevin Bauman has accomplished a lot on the football field during his Red Bank Catholic career and is hoping to accomplish plenty more when he heads to Notre Dame for his freshman season for one of the most storied gridiron programs in the country in 2020.
There one thing he never got to do on a football field while at RBC, however, was torment rival Christian Brothers Academy. Since CBA does not have a football team, Bauman had to do that on the basketball court.
Saturday marked the senior's best performance, not only against the rival Colts but of his entire career, as Bauman scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to carry the Caseys - ranked No. 9 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 heading into the week - to a 67-54 win over No. 7 CBA.
Red Bank Catholic entered Saturday mired in a three-game losing streak in which injuries played a significant part. Four-win Monmouth Regional stunned the Caseys on Feb. 7, 52-50, in RBC's first game without senior Charlie Gordinier, who injured his right hand and has missed the last four games.
This week, RBC has bounced back with Gordinier on the sidelines, even if the wins were slow to come. The Caseys played No. 1 Manasquan close on Tuesday before the Warriors pulled away fro a 60-42 win. On Thursday, the Caseys closed strong, cutting a 13-point deficit to one before losing to No. 5 Holmdel, 53-50. Sophomore Alex Bauman also missed that game due to injury.
After two encouraging performances against top-five teams earlier in the week, Red Bank Catholic made sure it left its gym Saturday with something to show for it. Kevin Bauman turned in a dominant performance while Alex Bauman returned to the lineup, but those weren't the only brothers on the floor Saturday afternoon.
Senior Charlie Ruoff and sophomore C.J. Ruoff are on opposite sides of the rivalry and it was the younger Ruoff who proved to be the x-factor in the win. C.J. Ruoff poured in a career-high 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
Ruoff has been a sharp-shooter from beyond the arc for RBC but found success getting to the basket on Saturday, with six of his eight field goals coming inside the three-point line. Charlie Ruoff, who is the only senior in CBA's regular rotation, finished with five points.
The other pair of brothers involved in Saturday's game included a coach and a player. CBA sophomore Ryan Mabrey finished with 12 points and seven assists but his older brother Roy, an assistant on RBC coach Tyler Schmelz's staff, got the win on Saturday. Roy was an All-Shore guard at CBA and a standout at St. Anselm College.
Saturday was the first time RBC has won the Founders' Cup over CBA in a game that dates back to Feb. 2016. RBC has, however, beaten CBA during that time, defeating the Colts in the 2018 NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public quarterfinals.
Bauman gave CBA trouble that season as well, posting a double-double in each of the three meetings between the teams, including 12 points and 12 rebounds in the 59-54 state-tournament win at CBA. That win marked the first time RBC had defeated CBA in 29 years.
The wait between wins over the rival Colts was much shorter this time, so much in fact that Bauman and Gordinier - who scored 18 points in the 2018 win - were still around to enjoy their second win in the rivalry. Since their freshman season, RBC is 2-4 against the Colts.
Junior Colin Farrell led CBA with 17 points while junior Ryan Cremen added 11 in the loss.