JACKSON, N.J.- After a while, there wasn't much else St. Augustine could do but pray that the other team would stop hitting so many shots.
"They shot the lights out," Hermits coach Paul Rodio said. "End of story."
Despite mounting a furious late comeback attempt, St. Augustine couldn't overcome a Christian Brothers Academy team that was on fire all night.
The Hermits fell, 83-77, Tuesday night in the South Jersey Non-Public A final at Jackson Liberty High School.
"We knew they were good shooters, but we didn't expect them to hit how they were hitting," junior guard Sa'eed Nelson said. "We adjusted defenses, tried doing everything we could. We made a run, but I guess it just wasn't our day."
Nelson led the Hermits (27-2) with 30 points. He was spectacular throughout, and scored 10 points in a fourth quarter that saw St. Augustine erase a 14-point deficit and pull to within three points with 4 minutes, 5 seconds left.
But Nelson was overshadowed by CBA junior guard Jack Laffey.
Laffey, who finished with 38 points, and junior forward Patrick Andree, who chipped in 28, were the faces of CBA's hot shooting.
Laffey hit three three-pointers and had 15 points just in the first quarter. He finished the first half with 24 points, and his team ahead, 37-28.
The third quarter was more of the same, only this time it was Andree's turn to display some unconscious shooting.
He hit four three-pointers in the period - all from well beyond the arc - including one at the buzzer to give CBA (24-5) a 58-44 lead.
Two quick three-pointers to open the fourth quarter by the Hermits' Mike Toner (13 points) swung momentum in St. Augustine's favor - but not enough to take its first lead since midway through the first quarter.
"We had a great year," Rodio said. "We responded to every challenge - except this one. And when this is all done and I walk away from here, I think I just have to give [CBA] credit."
Christian Brothers 23 14 21 25 - 83
St. Augustine 9 19 16 33 - 77
CBA: Patrick Andree 28, Shaun Belbey 4, Jack Laffey 38, John McGuire 9, John Salcedo 4