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RED BANK -- Both the Red Bank Catholic and Ranney boys basketball teams started the game by making just two of their first 18 field-goal attempts, but by the end of the end of the first half, only one team was suffering from the fallout of a poor shooting game.

The other showed that when its shooting is good, bad or ugly, it can win a game against a quality opponent.

Red Bank Catholic -- the No. 1 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 -- dominated another top-ranked opponent in the Shore Conference Saturday, shutting down No. 4 Ranney in a 56-29 win.

PHOTO GALLERY: Ranney at Red Bank Catholic by Ray Richardson

Red Bank Catholic senior Alex Bauman challenges a shot by Ranney's T.J. Braswell-Brown. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
Red Bank Catholic senior Alex Bauman challenges a shot by Ranney's T.J. Braswell-Brown. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
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"We're seeing that even if we don't have a great offensive game, we can still win with our defense," Red Bank Catholic senior Alex Bauman said. "That requires energy and aggressiveness, so as long as we bring those with us to every game, we have a chance to win."

The Caseys turned in a spectacular defensive performance for the third straight weekend and Saturday's was a new level for the Shore's No. 1 team. Ranney scored just six points in the first half and was stuck on 13 at the end of the third quarter.

Although both teams started equally poorly from the field, Ranney's 2-for-18 spanned the entirety of the first half, while Red Bank Catholic finished the half a respectable 6-for-13 for a total of 8-for-31 (25.8 percent) in the half.

The 13 additional shots for RBC were a product of offensive rebounding and a 7-1 first-half advantage in turnovers.

The one advantage for Ranney in the first half was the shot-blocking of senior Charles Anyichie, who swatted five of his eight blocks before halftime. In the final seconds of the half, however, Bauman backed into the paint, coaxed Anyichie off his feet with a head fake and drew the foul as he finished the basket.

"He probably thought he was going to have it easy on the glass against us, because he probably does have it easy against most teams," Bauman said. "We just tried to put a body on him every time and really attack on offense.

"He blocked me the first time I tried to go at him, so I knew I had to try to do something different: throw off his timing, maybe use my body to keep him away from the ball. I think getting that and-one was pretty deflating for them. To only have six points and give that up before halftime, I think that gave us a big edge."

The ensuing free throw by Bauman sent Red Bank Catholic into the locker room with a commanding 20-6 lead.

Ranney did not show much life until after the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter, when the Panthers rattled off an 8-0 run to cut RBC's lead from 20 to 12 at 40-28.

Out of a timeout, thought, the Caseys responded with eight straight points of their own, which was part of a 16-1 run to close out the game.

Bauman finished with a team-high 13 points, as the Caseys again rode a balanced attack to a win over a top-five opponent in the Shore. Last Saturday, sophomore Zach Meeks scored 14 to lead a 59-47 win over No. 2 Christian Brothers Academy and a week earlier, sophomore Colin Cavanaugh's 10 points were good for a team-high in a 46-40 win over No. 3 Marlboro.

Both CBA and Marlboro were ranked No. 1 when RBC knocked them off.

Senior C.J. Ruoff added 10 points on Saturday, classmate Cyril Arvanitis chipped in nine points and Cavanaugh provided RBC with eight points off the bench.

Anyichie was Ranney's most impactful player in the game with six points, seven rebounds and the eight blocks, while junior Isaac Hester led the Panthers with eight points. RBC forced Ranney's top scorer into a 2-for-20 shooting game into order to reach the eight-point mark.

PHOTO GALLERY: Ranney at Red Bank Catholic by Ray Richardson

Red Bank Catholic senior Alex Brown (right) battles for position against Ranney junior Isaac Hester. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
Red Bank Catholic senior Alex Brown (right) battles for position against Ranney junior Isaac Hester. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
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Red Bank Catholic has had, virtually, a high-profile game every weekend for the past month and has won the last three of them. A 61-58 loss to Marlboro came on Thursday, Dec. 30 before New Year's weekend, then the Caseys bounced back from their only loss with the wins over Marlboro, CBA and Ranney on consecutive Saturdays.

The run of huge Saturday games continues next weekend, when the Caseys travel to Central Regional and the Jimmy V Classic to take on undefeated Rutgers Prep -- the No. 8 team in the state, according to NJ Advance Media.

"We're going to keep it going," Bauman said. "We want to bring the energy every game, bring the aggressiveness every game and we know that no matter whether or not our shots our falling, if we keep playing defense like we have been, we can play with anybody."

PHOTO GALLERY: Ranney at Red Bank Catholic by Ray Richardson

Red Bank Catholic senior C.J. Ruoff. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
Red Bank Catholic senior C.J. Ruoff. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
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Red Bank Catholic sophomore Colin Cavanaugh (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
Red Bank Catholic sophomore Colin Cavanaugh (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
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