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NEWPORTâWith a win now under their belt, the UCA boys came out and on their home court and made it two in a row, defeating Concord 56-41.
"Our overall effort was good, there was some laziness going on in the beginning, but we straightened that out in a hurry," said coach Tony DeLaBruere.
Whether it was due to laziness or not, both teams were having difficulty scoring out of the gate. Paul Saaman put up the first point when he went 1-2 from the line, and Concord came back to take their lone lead of the game with a two from Brody Young.
Jon DeLaBruere restored the lead for good (yes I know it is odd to say this this early in the game, but it is true) as he let a long bomb fly from the land of threes. His brother Chris also went off from downtown to put the score at 7-3 before Concord made it 7-5 at the end of the quarter.
In the second both teams seemed to shake off whatever rust they had and the scoring was fast and furious.
Saaman went on a personal seven point run and Dale Martell added a jumper to put the Crusaders up 16-5. The rest of the quarter had the two teams trading baskets, and when Saaman had to go off midway through the period, the Wildcats were able to claw their way back into the game, trailing by eight at the half 24-16.
UCA, and especially Saaman, came out from the break a determined bunch.
Paul would score nine of twenty-five points in the third, often streaking into the lane and taking to the air to deliver home the goods.
"I was getting good screens from my teammates so I could get good lanes to drive in," said a very humble Saaman on how he was able to get to the hoop so well.
"Paul had a great game, and he still learning the point believe it or not. He is great at driving off the dribble and I'm proud of him and he is going to continue to get better and is going to be an asset," said the coach.
The DeLaBruere boys teamed up for seven points, three for Chris, four for Jon, and Martell added another two as the team rolled into the fourth quarter with a ten point advantage.
Said Coach DeLaBruere on the DeLaBruere brothers, "Chris is really good of the dribble, and Jon had a couple of great long shots. I thought they both did a good job."
It was not as if the Wildcats didn't have their chances in the second half. They would put up double digits in each of the two quarters, but the inability to make their free throws really hurt them.
Young, who led Concord with 18 points, went 2-12 in the half and the rest of the team was 1-5.
"I don't know if they stayed up late or what, but this was one of our worst games of the year," said Concord's coach
In the final frame Chris DeLaBruere really put on on a display for the home town fans. He scored six of the team's first eight points, and he did in three different ways. The first two points came on a low post shot, the second two from the charity stripe, and the final two were courtesy of a beautiful coast-to-coast run that was a thing of beauty.
Both Chris and Paul would finish the quarter with seven points and when the buzzer rang, it was a happy crew that filed out of the gym.
Only four Crusaders made it on the score sheet Saturday. Saaman's twenty-five led all scorers, Chris DeLaBruere had thirteen, Jon had twelve, and Martell chipped in six.
The boys will be the back-end of Wednesday's double-header against Masse Vanier, hitting the hard court of the Municipal building at 5:30, or whenever the girls wrap up the opener.