By Jim Hintelmann
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP – The current Christian Brothers Academy basketball team can’t compare to its outstanding teams of the past, but coach Geoff Billet maintains a hopeful outlook.
“We’re getting better and still growing,” said Billet after the Colts trimmed Middletown South, 53-42, Monday in an A North contest.
“We’re still trying to figure rotations and what guys can do what. We’re changing things up and have two sophomores (Evan Gordinier and Trevon Gross) starting.
“We’re still trying to figure things out,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll get there before the Shore Conference Tournament. We knew coming over here that it would be a tough game. Kevin (South coach Kevin Cullen) always has his team playing hard.”
Good free throw shooting, always a staple at CBA along with a good inside game was more than enough to fight off several challenges from Middletown South, another team that hasn’t matched up with some of its predecessors.
The Colts were 21 of 28 from the line while South managed just four of nine.
CBA led most of the game with South leading just twice, 2-0 and 4-3.
Jim Dengler, who had a strong game for the Colts with 12 points, hit a trey before South junior Tom DiMeo, the game’s high scorer with 17 points, tied it up with a jumper.
CBA, though, went ahead by scoring the next five points and never lost the lead thereafter.
CBA eventually extended its lead to 39-26 early in the third period before South scored the next seven points on a lay up from DiMeo, Joe Castellano’s three-pointer and a put back by Jim Dzugan, but the Eagles could get no closer.
“We made some ill advised turnovers,” said Cullen, who is also handling a relatively inexperienced team. “CBA is always well-coached and capitalized on our mistakes.
“We’re very young,” he admitted, “but we do have some seniors who have played a good leadership role for these guys. This senior group works harder than any team that I have had.
“DiMeo is a great offensive threat,” Cullen said. “Next year he’s going to be a player to look out for.”