Basketball: Brother Martin leads from start to finish in win over John Curtis

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NEW ORLEANS – It has been tough, make the brutal, for Brother Martin.

The Crusaders had lost a pair of Catholic League games by a total of three points, including letting a huge lead get away in a two-point home loss to Shaw last Saturday night.

There was also a difficult one-point loss at Jesuit.

The Crusaders were on a crusade Tuesday night, determined not to let any lead disappear and determined not to allow a very good opponent in John Curtis Christian to even draw even throughout the game.

Brother Martin did just that, leading from start to finish in a 58-46 win over the Patriots at Conlin Gymnasium.

The Crusaders scored the first four points and took a 14-8 lead after one quarter on a strength of seven points by Jace Patin.

Brother Martin went on a 7-0 run in the second quarter, thanks to eight points in the quarter by Corey Skillman and took a 28-18 halftime lead.

John Curtis made a run in the third quarter with pressure and by playing up-tempo to pull within 34-33 behind seven points in the quarter by Michael Turner Jr. and a similar scenario to the loss to Shaw was emerging.

This time, the Crusaders would have nothing of it.

Brother Martin inched out to a 42-37 lead going to the fourth quarter and put the game away with a 10-2 run to start the final period.

Skillman led the way with 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals to lead the Crusaders.

“We go hard in practice and it shows on the court,” Skillman said. “We came in with confidence that we would win this game. Coach told us to believe in each other so we stuck together and worked hard.”

Crusaders coach Chris Biehl said it was a relief to see his team win in solid fashion.

“We’re frustrated,” Biehl said. “We could be a 3-1 team but we are what we are and I wasn’t sure how we’d respond after the way we played the last game. That was probably the most difficult loss I’ve ever been associated with. I tried to remind the boys that we were up 20 on Shaw who is an excellent team. I like the way we responded tonight. We think Curtis is a phenomenal team. The kids really stepped up and played well.”

Patin contributed 13 points, five rebounds and two assists. Marvin Jones had eight points, five rebounds and two assists.

Mark Johnson Jr. topped the Patriots with 17 points, seven rebounds and a block while Autrail Manning had nine points, three assists and two rebounds.

Brother Martin (17-5, 2-3) travels to Archbishop Rummel Friday night while John Curtis Christian (14-3, 3-1) lost for the first time in league play and will host Jesuit Friday night.

“We’re young,” Biehl said. “People don’t realize how young we are. We have to grow and learn from the past game and I was pretty happy as a coach to see them do that tonight.”

FINAL
BM 14 14 14 16 — 58
JC 8 10 19 9 — 46

Scoring:
BM—Corey Skillman 22, Jace Patin 13, Marvin Jones 8, Eli Pichon 6, Ray Lotten 4, Clayton Lonardo 4, Jordan West 1

JC—Mark Johnson Jr. 17, Autrail Manning Jr. 9, Michael Turner Jr. 7, Buddy Taylor 4, Laron Louis 3, Harrison Conner 2, Marlin Prout 2

Rebounds:
BM 35
JC 31

Turnovers:
BM 14
JC 13

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Ken Trahan

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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