Boys Basketball – No. 6 CBA Knocks Off No. 3 Ranney in Overtime to Win Buc Classic
Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball coach Geoff Billet entered the season with a young team he realistically hoped he could compete for the No. 1 spot in the Shore Conference by sometime in 2022.
After another impressive performance Thursday in the Buc Classic at Red Bank Regional High School, the Colts are about to compete for the No. 1 spot in the Shore Conference in their first game of 2022.
Junior Will Bradley hit the game-tying free throw with 3.4 seconds left in regulation if the Albert E. Martin Buc Classic Final vs. Ranney, then the go-ahead three-pointer in overtime to help deliver unbeaten CBA a 55-49 win over Ranney to capture the Buc Classic championship.
By taking down Ranney -- ranked No. 3 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 -- No. 6 CBA chopped down its third ranked opponent its last four games, including No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven in the Buc Classic semifinals on Tuesday.
Bradley finished with a game-high 18 points, while senior teammate and Tournament MVP Pat Lautato chimed in with 17 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and five steals. Lautato scored 13 of his points in the first half, including CBA's first seven points of the game and all six of its points during the second quarter.
Sophomore Peter Noble scored nine points for CBA, including a go-ahead three-pointer that put the Colts ahead, 46-45, late in the fourth quarter.
Senior T.J. Braswell-Brown, who led Ranney with 14 points, scored the go-ahead basket on a drive into the paint with 2:25 left and no one scored again until Bradley's trip to the line following a wild sequence.
Ranney called timeout with 25 seconds left and a one point lead and struggled to inbound the ball out of the huddle, prompting another timeout. Coming out of the second of the back-to-back timeouts, CBA again smothered all five Ranney players and the Panthers were called for a five-second violation, giving CBA the ball back.
When Colts senior James Durney missed an open three-point attempt in the final 20 seconds, Lautato grabbed the offensive rebound, but threw the ball to Ranney junior Isaac Hester, who raced ahead looking for a layup to extend the lead. Hester missed and Braswell-Brown's putback dunk attempt also did not go down and CBA found itself with a fastbreak opportunity as the final seconds ticked away.
Bradley got all the way to the rim and drew the foul on Ranney 6-foot-7 senior Charles Anyichie with 3.4 seconds left, giving Bradley a chance to win the game at the line. Bradley buried the first shot, but missed the second, sending the game into overtime.
Senior Brandon Klatsky banked in a shot to open the scoring for Ranney and Bradley answered with his go-ahead three from the right wing with 2:07 to go. Lautato then hit two free throws to stretch the lead to 52-49 and Durney closed out the game with a layup, plus the foul, in the final seconds.
Hester scored 12 points for Ranney and managed only three after halftime, with senior James Durney handling the majority of the defensive duties on Ranney's top scorer while junior Joe White dealt with foul trouble throughout the game. Hester's lone field goal of the second half was a fadeaway that gave Ranney a 45-43 lead with just under five minutes to play.
CBA emerged from a back-and-forth first quarter with an 18-17 lead, but Ranney struck back by closing the first half on a 9-2 run. The Colts answered with a 9-0 run during the third that turned a 32-24 deficit into a 33-32 lead and grew to 39-36 heading to the fourth quarter.
Ranney stormed out of the gate in the fourth with seven straight points, with Klatsky hitting a three and Braswell-Brown converting a pair of layups for a 43-39 lead. CBA evened it up with a jumper from Bradley and a breakaway layup by Durney to set up the finish.
After beating Freehold Township -- ranked No. 7 at the time on Dec. 21 -- Rumson-Fair Haven and Ranney, CBA will next get its toughest test yet on the other side of New Year's weekend. No. 1 Marlboro -- fresh off winning the WOBM Christmas Classic over No. 2 Red Bank Catholic -- will invade CBA on Tuesday in a showdown between what will be two of the top three ranked teams in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, as well as the two apparent favorites to win the Shore Conference Class A North championship.