MONTVILLE, CONNECTICUT -- It wasn't a great road trip for Blair Academy. Joe Mantegna's squad lost the previous night to Mount Hermon and walked into the gym with Charlie Villanueva limping around (see Villanueva story in East section).
So without one of its top players, Blair Academy had to face the St. Thomas More Chancellors, a tough foe for any team when they are at home. Jere Quinn's STM team was more than tough today. They were almost perfect.
Five players from St. Thomas More scored in double figures and the Chancellors smashed Blair, 93-74. Villanueva played only three minutes and Luol Deng was forced to become the only offensive weapon for Blair.
What Deng faced most of the day was double and triple teamming, especially when Luol was trying to post up near the paint. Deng did score 29 points but the rest of Blair was outmatched by the buzzing of the STM guards and forwards.
St. Thomas More took a 47-39 lead at the half. Anthony Wilson had 12 of his 16 points in the first half to lead the STM charge. Blair could not knock down the STM lead at all during the second half. Cilk McSweeney shot the lights out in the second half. He scored 13 points, including three three-pointers.
McSweeney got plenty of help. Aaron Johnson added 16 points, Calvin Brown cleaned up inside with 10 points, and Kevin Reed chipped in with 14 points.
"Jere Quinn is a great coach," Mantegna said. "His team played well together. We just have to hope we get everything together for our league playoffs."
Blair's playoffs begin Saturday. "We are a little banged up," Mantegna said. "Hopefully we can get everyone healthy by next weekend. Give credit to St. Thomas More. They are a very good team and they played well today."
Ben Kenyon added 13 points for losers while teammate Bill Kempmann chipped in with 10 points.