Raining Threes

Dec. 15-21, 2005
Raining Threes
By Luke Eggleston/ SUN staff writer
SUN photo(s) Paul Finch
Kinnan’s 29 Points Keys CBA Victory Over Rival Ludden

DEWITT — Matt Kinnan’s first-half perfect storm from the field propelled Christian Brothers Academy past rival Bishop Ludden Friday night. Kinnan was 5-for-5 shooting threes and 9-for-9 from the floor in the first half. He scored 23 of his game high 29 points in the first half.

The Brothers, hosting the first installment of a home and home, won 65-55 and improved to 2-0 on the season. CBA’s first win had been at the expense of Nottingham. Ludden, meanwhile, suffered its first loss of the season. Previously, the Gaelic Knights were 3-0 with wins over Liverpool and Southern Tier schools Windsor and Susquehanna Valley. Both coaches commented that the result has only marginal importance other than to keep alive the traditional rivalry between the two programs. When the two teams meet again Friday, Jan. 6 in the Knights’ home gym, the contest will have implications for Colonial League standings and sectional-tournament positioning.

According to Ludden coach Pat Donnelly, the turning point arrived in the second quarter. Host CBA had been able to hold the Gaelic Knights at arm’s length through the first eight minutes plus but Ludden had clawed back to within two points. With the score 22-20, CBA sophomore guard Marcus Sales drove into the lane and pulled up for a jump shot, drawing contact. When his shot sank and he also hit the free throw after, it sparked a run that featured a trio of threes from Kinnan as well as two more field goals. At the end of the session, CBA led 38-26.

“It was 22-20 and then the (three-point play) I think the three-point play kind of propelled them….We got down by a big margin and we just told them don’t quit and we got it back to 10 and we’ll learn and go on,” Donnelly said. The performance was Kinnan’s second of such caliber. In the Brothers’ win over Nottingham, Kinnan scored 24 points. CBA coach Buddy Wleklinski pointed out that Kinnan entered the season with more confidence. Kinnan, who as a sophomore hit the game winning 3-pointer in a sectional championship against Ludden in 2004, has added new wrinkles to his game. In the past, Kinnan could be counted on for threes when he was presented with open looks. Now, the 6-foot-2 guard must be accounted for driving to the basket. During the win over the Gaelic Knights Friday night, Kinnan was also effective driving into the lane and hitting pull-up jumpers.

“He’s a totally different player. He’s come out with a lot of confidence,” Wleklinski said. “Last year he was more of a jump shooter. He’d square up and shoot but he really didn’t do much off of the dribble. Now he’s changed his game where you have to respect the dribble. He goes in hard and he pulls up once he can get to the basket. He just took over the game.”

But it wasn’t just Kinnan who bedeviled the Knights. Donnelly noted that possession was an issue for his team as Ludden turned the ball over 15 times. On several occasions, Sales, a sophomore guard, was the instrument of disruption. Sales recorded four steals but wreaked havoc in the Knights’ backcourt and intercepted errant passes inside.

“Marcus is tough and he’s very deceptive. He’s very smooth and he’s got long arms and he’s got great anticipation. At top of the 1-3-1 he causes problems because he’s really got some length to him and they’re having trouble seeing over him,” Wleklinski said. CBA’s lead ballooned to 22 points by the end of the third quarter but the Knights were able to make a late charge. According to Wleklinski, the coaching staff adjusted its rotation in the fourth quarter, hampering the Brothers’ rhythm, and Ludden pounced.

“As the game was going it was a 20-point game and you have to give Ludden a lot of credit,” the coach said. “They weren’t going to give up and they certainly didn’t. They played hard all the way to the end. They made a nice run at us but we made some rotations and changed things up a little bit. It was probably my fault but I took us out of a little flow. We were in a nice run and I tried to do something just a little bit different just to see how it would work and Ludden took advantage of it.”

The Knights scored by committee with Ryan Chapman and Kyle Roy recording 13 and 12 points respectively. Daquan Grobsmith scored eight points and Jared Dewberry and Pat O’Hara both had seven. After Kinnan, Mike Goodman scored 12 points and Sales scored 10 for CBA.
Four from Le Moyne Named to NSCAA/Adidas All-Region Team

Following the program’s first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1977, four Le Moyne men’s soccer players have been named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas Division II All-New England Region teams. Sophomores Eric Macias (Silver Spring, Md./Wheaton) and Mark Lukowiecki (Edinburgh, Scotland/Queensferry) were named to the first team, senior Tim Mann (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) has been named to the second team and Ryan Cunningham (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Baldwinsville) garnered third-team honors.

Lukowiecki keyed the Le Moyne defense in his first season with the Dolphins. A starter in all 22 games, he helped Le Moyne to 11 shutouts and a team goals-against average of 1.01. Macias, an offensive-minded midfielder, led Le Moyne with 10 goals, six assists and 26 points in his second season. Mann capped his four-year career at Le Moyne with a 12-6-2 mark, 1.06 goals against average, .814 save percentage and a program-record 10 shutouts. Cunningham scored six goals and assisted on three for 15 points.

Le Moyne (14-6-2, 9-3-1 Northeast-10 Conference) captured its first Northeast-10 Conference Championship in program history and its third NCAA tournament berth. The Dolphins blanked eventual national runner-up Franklin Pierce 1-0 in the conference championship game.

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