Big 10 boys basketball teams have tried many things defensively to slow down Christian Brothers Academy.
None of them have worked.
Troy was the latest team to attempt to beat CBA, and for a while, the Flying Horses were within striking distance. But the Brothers went on a 9-2 run midway through the third quarter, and they never looked back in defeating Troy 69-46 last Friday.
You have to sometimes understand what the other team is doing and hope to hang in there as you figure it out, said CBA coach Dave Doemel. "Fortunately, we've been able to hang in there and then make the adjustments."
Troy's plan was to use its powerful inside game to prevent CBA (9-0 league, 10-1 overall) from driving to the basket, and that worked for the most part. But the Brothers countered by draining 12 three-pointers " something that the Flying Horses couldn't match on offense.
"They were pretty big and long. They took away our ability to go to the hoop," said Doemel. "So, we had to make an adjustment."
Josh Dennis began the three-point barrage by hitting three shots from behind the arc in the first quarter. But it was a pair of threes by Kameron Ritter midway through the third quarter that sparked CBA's spurt that put the game out of Troy's reach.
"It was good to see Kameron hitting them, and I was happy to see some guys off the bench hit some [threes]," said Doemel.
As CBA pulled away, Troy's offense became unglued. The Flying Horses started rushing their shots, which allowed the Brothers to grab some easy rebounds and start running the floor.
"Defensively, I was happy that we were able to close off their inside game a little bit," said Doemel. "I thought [center Taylor] Mulvey did a great job of establishing himself inside, and once he did that it fired up the other guys."
Junior guard Max Weaver led CBA with 16 points including four three-pointers. Ritter contributed 14 points, nearly half of which came from the free throw line, and Galal Cancer added 12 points.
Kareem Brown and Greg Williams each scored eight points for Troy (3-6, 5-6).
CBA returned home Tuesday to face a Bishop Maginn team that has won its last eight games since a 72-61 loss to the Brothers last month.
"They're a little scary right now because they have a lot of weapons, so we'll have to play our best to beat them," said Doemel.""