Littleton strong in season debut

Kuba Kubkowski drills a jump shot in action against Gorham. Corey McKean. (click for larger version)
December 15, 2014
LITTLETON — Anxious to get back out on the floor again, the Littleton hoop boys came out with a lot of energy and intensity in their season opener on Friday night. With a slow start due to turnovers early in the first quarter, the Crusaders shook off the nerves quickly and started playing better basketball. With balanced scoring and solid contributions from the entire team, the Crusaders open up the season with a win, beating the Gorham Huskies 61-30.

It was sloppy early on for the Crusaders as they had a lot of unforced turnovers, keeping the Huskies in the game. Foul trouble early on also put a damper on the Crusaders' fast paced game, allowing the Huskies to go to the foul line. The Huskies hit four of six free throws in the first quarter, accounting for more than half their points. The Huskies also played great defense early on, allowing no easy shots for the Crusaders on the offensive end. The Crusaders managed to score 11 points and led after the first, 11-7.

The defensive prowess of Littleton picked up in the second quarter, turning countless steals by Cooper Paradice and Mike Rodriquez into quick and easy fast break points. The full court press of Littleton became difficult for Gorham to handle. The Crusaders fed off this for a while until foul trouble ensued again.

The Crusaders had 10 team fouls early in the second quarter, forcing head coach Trevor Howard to go to his bench. Littleton is a deep team, who will play eight to 10 guys every night, so this wasn't a big problem for the Crusaders. The early foul trouble did however, slow down their game once again and let the Huskies hang around.

After the Crusaders settled into their defense and stopped fouling, Danny Brammer hit three huge threes on the offensive end, which got the team fired up. Littleton rallied and pulled away, outscoring Gorham 21-7 in the second quarter, going into halftime with a 32-14 lead.

The second half was all Crusaders, holding the Huskies to just three points in the third quarter and scoring 17. Kuba Kubkowski had four quick points off nice feeds from senior captain Gavin Cook, which gave the Crusaders a nice spark.

Howard was pleased with how his senior captain played all night.

"Cook played outstanding for us giving us that senior leadership and posting a stat line of six points, five assist and three steals," Howard said. Cy Kezerian ended the quarter with a three, putting the Crusaders up 49-17.

The fourth quarter consisted of many Crusader players seeing the floor. Howard saw this as an opportunity for guys to gain some experience.

"Twelve out of 13 players scored and everyone got to play quality minutes. We have a lot of areas to improve in but good team win to start the season," said Howard.

Littleton was led by the three-point shooting of Brammer, who hit four threes for 12 points. Kubkowski chipped in with seven and five different Crusader players netted six. The Huskies were led by Connor Fike with 11 and Nick MacDonald with five.

Littleton starts off the season with a record of 1-0 as Gorham falls to 0-1. Littleton will travel over to Lisbon to play on Thursday, Dec. 18. Game time is posted for 7 p.m.

Littleton: 11, 21, 17, 12; 61

Gorham: 7, 7, 3, 13; 30

Littleton: Brammer 12, Kubkowski 7, Briggs 6, Paradice 6, Rodriguez 6, Cook 6, Kezerian 6, Odell 4, Schafer 2, Moodie 2, Anan 2, Northrop 2

Gorham: Fike 11, MacDonald 5, Brovillette 4, Raymond 3, Moore 3, Levesque 2, Ruel 2

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