WEST LONG BRANCH – Whether 11th-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven Regional’s stunning 50-24 basketball rout of No. 1 Christian Brothers Academy in the Shore Conference Tournament championship game Friday at Monmouth University was the biggest upset in the tournament’s 78-year history can be debated.
Two things can’t be debated, however.
First: it was the greatest defense ever in a SC title game as Rumson held CBA to just five points and one field goal in the second half. Unofficially it was the lowest point total ever for CBA since the school opened in 1962.
Two: junior guard Brendan Barry put on one of the greatest individual performances ever in the tournament with 27 points, 25 of which came in the second half.
“Our defense was unreal,” said Rumson coach Chris Champeau. “After they made a three-pointer early in the game, they weren’t hitting any outside shots, so I packed in the defense and had Elijah McCallister (Rumson’s 6-5 freshman center) post up in the middle in a one-man zone to help out on Andre.”
Pat Andre, CBA high scoring 6-7 center, was held to a season low seven points. No other Colt player scored more than six.
“I told Barry at halftime that big stages are for big players,” said Champeau. “I also told him to put the team on his back and lets go. That is what he did. Barry is a throwback kid who doesn’t get rattled.”
“We had all the confidence in the world coming into the game,” said Barry. “We figured that we could do that because we had the defense and could play with anybody.”
CBA had its last lead at 13-10 midway in the second quarter on a pair of baskets by Andre, but Rumson rallied and went in front, 19-17, on a three-pointer by Thomas Famulary, who kept Rumson in the game with nine first half points and 11 rebounds.
“It was unbelievable,” said Famulary. “I don’t know how to put it into words. It was all heart and defense.
“It was a large court and we wanted to spread them out so that they couldn’t cover our guards,” he explained. “We drew them out from underneath, spread the ball around and were able to get it inside.”
Following a missed CBA shot, Rumson was holding the ball for a final shot, but turned it over and CBA’s Shaun Belbey scored a layup at the buzzer to tie the game at 19.
Rumson, though, didn’t let that bother them as it totally dominated the second half with a 31-5 advantage, almost of the points by Barry.
“I walked into our locker room at halftime, and my kids told me that they were going win this game,” said Champeau.
Fittingly enough, it was Barry who set the tone in the second half by drilling a three-pointer to give the Bulldogs the lead for good.
Barry dropped in three free throws and, after Rumson’s Alex Geiger made a three-pointer for a 32-20 lead, it became the Brendan Barry show.
Barry, hitting on three-pointers, jumpers and layups that the CBA defenders were unable to stop, then scored 18 points in a row to break open the game. He scored the last eight points of the third quarter and first 10 of the fourth.
“This was our first major boys basketball championship,” said Barry. “Now our goals are the Central Jersey II and state championships.”
– By Jim Hintelmann
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