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Bobcats end Knights' season in Class I quarterfinals

SENIOR DYLAN LOVERING soars toward the hoop during Class I tournament action at Oyster River on March 12. Kathy Sutherland. (click for larger version)
March 15, 2010
DURHAM — While upsets were the story of the first round of the Class I boys' hoop tournament, the quarterfinal round went exactly as the seedings might expect, including for the Kingswood Knights.

The Knights, who entered the tournament as the 11th seed and knocked off Kearsarge in the first round (see separate story) were unable to pull the upset magic in the quarterfinals, as the third-seeded Oyster River Bobcats ended the Knights' season with a 63-47 win Friday, March 12, in Durham.

"They had a lot of weapons and they hurt us in all aspects of the game," said Kingswood coach Dan Chick. "But I can't say anything bad about our hustle. Our boys played as hard as they could.

"I think we just ran out of gas and they just kept throwing kids in there," he continued. "It was a real good game, a hard-fought battle."

From the start, the Knights looked like they might hang with the Bobcats for a while, as the visitors trailed by only two points, 13-11, after one quarter of play.

The hosts, however, dominated the second quarter, holding the Knights to only 10 points while putting up 19 themselves and ran out to a 32-21 lead at the break.

The Knights weren't finished though and came roaring back in the third quarter.

"This team does not lay down," Chick said. "We kept fighting."

The Knights kept chipping away at the Bobcat lead in the third quarter and with just a few minutes remaining in the frame, the Kingswood boys had Oyster River's once double digit lead down to just six points.

However, the hosts took advantage of a couple of Kingswood turnovers and pulled ahead by more than 10 heading to the final period of play.

"They put us away in the fourth quarter," Chick noted.

Oyster River was one of the top four teams heading into the tournament and all top four teams advanced to the semifinals, setting up playoffs between the Bobcats, second-seeded Pembroke, fourth-seeded Portsmouth and top-seeded Milford for the right to battle in the Class I championship, which Chick said Oyster River has a pretty good chance of taking home, given their depth and talent.

"I wouldn't be at all surprised if Oyster River won it all," he said.

For the Knights, sophomore Kohl Meyers and freshman Tate Jozokos led the way with 12 points each. Senior Dylan Lovering had 11 and classmate Kevin Smithwood chipped in with nine.

"It was a very balanced scoring attack, but it just wasn't enough," Chick said.

While the team's season came to an end after a 12-6 regular season and one playoff win, Chick was pleased with what went on for the Knights on the court this year, a year after stumbling to a 5-13 record and missing the tournament.

"It was a very rewarding season," the veteran coach said. "I had a great time and I think the boys had a great time.

"And I think that next year we'll be even better," he continued.

Chick also expressed his thanks to the fans who made the trip to Durham to cheer on the Knights in their final game of the season.

The Knights lose captains Smithwood and Lovering, as well as role players Jeff Runnals and Brendan Stackhouse to graduation in June.

Smithwood was named to play in the Senior Games, set for Sunday at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, while Lovering was named as an alternate.

Martin Lord Osman
Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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