Syracuse CBA knocks off Albany CBA in Class AA boys regional

Plus, they got Syracuse CBA off playing the night before, even though that was a 78-42 rout over Massena in the first part of the regional round.

Albany CBA grabbed an 8-0 lead out of the gate, with Ritter twice making steals and turning them into baskets.

Only the work of Thompson " who had eight of his team's 11 points in the first quarter " kept Syracuse CBA close in the early going.

Gradually, both CBA teams began to clamp down on defense. Albany CBA used a match-up zone to force Thompson into mistakes and foul trouble, while Syracuse CBA relied on man-to-man pressure. Inside, center Andrew Stire was held to seven points as his Syracuse CBA counterpart, Mike Goodman, had 12 points and 17 rebounds.

Syracuse CBA used an 11-0 run in the second and third periods to go in front for the first time, and led by as much as six points. But, Albany CBA countered by getting the last seven points of the third quarter to launch a 14-3 run and take 39-34 lead.

Thompson got his fourth foul early in the fourth quarter, but Syracuse CBA head coach Buddy Wleklinski never took him out " a gamble that would pay off later on.

"There was no option," Wleklinski said. "We were going to go down with what was there."

Syracuse CBA didn't go down, though. Instead, it used five straight points from Troy Bullock to regain the lead at 42-41. The teams went back and forth from there until the tense final sequence.

Ritter led with 13 points, while Galal Cancer gained 10 points as Albany CBA finished its season with a 21-4 record.

The fact that Ritter, Cancer and Josh Dennis lead a strong returning cast in 2009-10 can't erase a bitter disappointment, as Syracuse CBA advanced to face Niagara Falls in this Saturday's state Class AA semifinal in Glens Falls.""

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