By Jim Hintelmann
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP – A year ago, Middletown North scored a stunning A Division North 51-32 basketball victory over Christian Brothers Academy at home en route to a successful season.
The two teams played again Tuesday at Middletown North, and it again it was a one-sided ball game. This time, however, it was CBA’s turn with the Colts (5-3) cruising to an impressive 64-35 rout.
“We were thinking about that loss a lot in the locker room before the game,” said CBA’s 6-foot-7-inch sophomore star Pat Andree, who scored 19 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. “That gave us a little incentive.”
“We had split two games with North the previous three years” CBA coach Geoff Billet said. “This year we had an experienced team and they were rebuilding. We have much more balance and depth this year and will be even better when we get Evan Gordiner back from an injury.”
“Andree is a very talented player,” Billet said. “He can shoot the 3 but we want to work with him and get him to dominated the inside.”
The game was tied just once, and that was at the start when it was 2-2. CBA scored the next 7 points for a 9-2 lead. North made it 11-6 on a drive by Ian Wyckoff, but Andree hit on a put back at the buzzer.
“That really hurt us,” North coach Mike Iasparro said. “We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket tonight. Every time we got back in the game, they pulled away.”
North got as close as 22-15 on a layup by Wyckoff, but CBA scored the next 10 points – 5 each by Andree and Jack Laffey – to open it up to 32-15.
The Colts then broke it open by scoring the first 14 points of the fourth quarter, 7 by Lou Pillari, who will be playing at the U.S. Naval Academy next year.
Andree’s ability to shoot 3-pointers brought comparisons to another CBA 6-foot-7-inch player, Dan Werner, who went on to play at the University of Florida a few years ago.
“I’m honored to be compared to Dan Werner,” Andree said, “but I just want to work hard. I’ve been shooting the 3s since grammar school. I had several brothers that played at CBA, and my dad played at Notre Dame.”
CBA is unbeaten against area opposition. It’s only losses were to national powers St. Anthony of Jersey City and DeMatha of Washington, D.C., and West Orange.