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Home > Articles > High School Sports > Sydenham moves into first-place tie with eighth straight win

Sydenham moves into first-place tie with eighth straight win


Posted: February 6th, 2015 @ 1:26am


By CLAUDE SCILLEY

It was a basketball game in which each team had its moments.

“That was the beauty of it,” Sydenham Golden Eagles coach Shaun Kennedy said afterwards. “There were a lot of momentum changes, a lot of fast break, a lot of pushing the ball up the floor.”

Of course, Kennedy had the advantage of appreciating the aesthetic elements of the game from the winner’s perspective, after his team defeated the Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers 63-52 in a Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association senior boys baksetball game at Regi Thursday afternoon.

He was right, though. The Panthers could be pleased about overcoming a terrible spate of fouls in the first quarter to remain in the contest—Sydenham was in double-bonus shooting situation after just six minutes of the game—and they put together a couple of splendid runs to, in the first, take a one-point lead at halftime and, later, cut a 15-point deficit to just five with two minutes to play.

“When we pushed,” Kennedy said, “Regi pushed back, push for push.”

On the Sydenham side of the ledger, in addition to the victory—which enabled to Eagles to remain undefeated, and move into a first-place tie with idle Frontenac at 8-0—the pluses were the way they ultimately turned aside those Regi comebacks, some fabulous foul shooting, and a third quarter where the visitors outscored the home team 17-2.

“We had a chat at halftime and we felt that we really needed to slow down and relax,” Kennedy said. Though his team led by as many as six points on two different occasions in the first half, that was only due to 16-for-20 free-throw shooting, since the Eagles had managed just six baskets in the opening two quarters.

“We knew that Regi would play an up-tempo game, and that they mix zone with man (defence), but we weren’t identifying their defence early enough and we weren’t calling our plays. We weren’t flowing into our offence.

“It was pretty obvious to everyone in the gym that there was a size difference and they had to play that way, and it worked. If I was on Regi’s side, I’d be telling them get up on those big guys, you’ve got to play physical, you’ve got to be quick. I thought they executed a good game plan. Our bigs were passing up looks early on in the game. We sorted that out at halftime but we felt there were a few times our bigs were a little (hesitant). They felt a lot of pressure and they weren’t going right up (to shoot).”

Sydenham at first didn’t cope well when Regi applied its pressure defence, but that defence became less effective as the game progressed.

“In the first half we weren’t ourselves. We weren’t reading,” Kennedy said. “We were head down and going into it but in the third quarter … when we broke pressure, we were able to get inside and get those little feeds to our bigs.

“The rule was, if we get it inside from here on in, you’re going up with it.”

Sydenham got all but one of its points from four players: Thomas Withey, who scored 19 points, Ben Lusk, who scored 18, Mason Alger, with 14, and Steve Kennedy, who scored all of his 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Regi, meanwhile, got 21 points from its bench, including 10 from Liam Huntley and nine, including a pair of fourth-quarter threes, from Allan Wang. Duncan Lambert led the Panthers with 18 points, nine of them in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to prevent his team from slipping to 6-2.

In other games Thursday:

• The Bayridge Blazers won their seventh game in a row, 61-41, over the Queen Elizabeth Raiders; the La Salle Black Knights defeated the Granite Ridge Gryphons 59-32, and the Kingston Blues moved back above .500, 5-4, by handing the Holy Cross a 44-33 defeat, the Crusaders’ third loss in a row.

Playing at QE, Austin Macklem scored 22 points for Bayridge, 7-2, while teammate John Harper scored 14. Braydon Cordeiro led the Raiders, 1-7, with 17 points.

The league's showdown game comes on Tuesday, when the undefeated teams, Frontenac and Sydenham, play a 1 o'clock game at Sydenham.


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