Post presence fuels Bishop Seabury boys basketball past Cornerstone

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Bishop Seabury senior Luke Hornberger (32) shoots a one-handed jumped shot over Cornerstone players Brady Steinlage (12) and Nicolas Schwensen (4) on Thursday at BSA on Feb. 13, 2020.

It didn’t take long to recognize Bishop Seabury’s game plan in its 71-36 win over Cornerstone Family on Thursday at BSA.

BSA head coach Jonathan Raney even shouted it for the whole gymnasium to hear late in the first quarter. Clinging to a 13-9 lead, Raney barked at his talented big men Joao Carlos Ramirez and Luke Hornberger to post up. And that they did.

On the very next trip down the floor, both Hornberger and Ramirez got a shot from the block. Ramirez connected on his putback attempt, and proceeded to hit the ensuing try from the free-throw line to complete the and-one sequence.

“We knew we had the size advantage; we felt like we could get some easy buckets to get going offensively,” Raney said. “The last couple of weeks we have done a good job of going inside-out.”

It proved to be the theme of the night for the Seahawks, who have now won seven games in a row since placing fourth at the Baldwin Invitational. Bishop Seabury is now 14-2 on the year, which includes 12 wins by double-digit margins.

What made Bishop Seabury’s latest win different, however, was the style of play it took to get there. The Seahawks have shown the ability to score as many as 87 points behind a talented backcourt, and they have also locked down on the other end with a suffocating full-court pressure defense.

With junior guard Stavian Jones sidelined Thursday, the Seahawks were more methodical on the offensive end with a majority of their production against the Saints (7-10) coming on points in the paint.

“I don’t know how many 3s we had, but we had a good balanced attack,” Hornberger said. “I think that really helped us out.”

In fact, all 40 of Bishop Seabury’s points in the first half either came on baskets in the lane or at the free-throw line off attempts from the paint. Junior Zach Bloch’s floater at the 5:00 mark in the third quarter was the team’s first field goal outside of the lane. He then hit Bishop Seabury’s lone triple of the night on the very next possession.

But it was the tandem of Hornberger and Ramirez that helped the Seahawks grab a 40-21 advantage at the intermission. Both players fought for position on the post all night, and it often resulted in good looks at the rim.

“Me and (Ramirez) had a size advantage, and we do most games,” Hornberger said. “We are pretty big inside.”

When they didn’t receive the rock, the two posts created a lane for Bishop Seabury’s guards to attack Cornerstone off the dribble. Bloch and senior Cobe Green obliged with crafty finishes at the rim through contact.

It was a formula that proved to be effective all night, as all four players finished in double figures in the win. Bloch paced the offensive attack with a game-high 24 points on 8-of-22 shooting, going 7 for 8 at the charity stripe. On his lone miss, Bloch collected the rebound and immediately fired a pass to Hornberger on the post.

Hornberger finished with 17 points on a 7-of-10 effort from the field. Green and Ramirez provided 16 and 12 points, respectively. Senior Sam Bayliss registered a layup late in the fourth quarter for the team’s only other points of the night.

“We have to finish better,” Raney said. “We need to shoot the ball a lot better. We need to be more efficient offensively if we are going to continue to have success over the rest of the season.”

Bishop Seabury will take on Mid-Buchanan at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Benton High School.

Cornerstone (36)

Bret Brownlee 1-3 1-2 3, Nicolas Schwensen 5-9 1-2 11, Brady Steinlage 1-3 0-1 2, Andrew Mullen 5-7 0-1 11, Draven Webb 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan Donaldson 2-4 0-0 5, Gabriel Brown 2-3 0-1 4, Ethan Frank 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 16-32 2-7 36.

Bishop Seabury (71)

Zach Bloch 8-22 7-8 24, Cobe Green 5-13 6-9 16, Luke Hornberger 7-10 3-3 17, Joao Carlos Ramirez 5-13 2-2 12, Sam Hertzog 0-2 0-0 0, Sam Bayliss 1-3 0-0 2, Enzo Karam 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 26-65 18-22 71.

Cornerstone 12 9 9 6 — 36

Seabury 20 20 17 14 — 71

3-point goals: CS 2-8 (Mullen, Donaldson); BSA 1-9 (Bloch). Turnovers: CS 22; BSA 11. Fouled out: None.

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