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Joyce Endee

Knights jump out quick, roll past Eagles

KINGSWOOD’S KOHL MEYERS drives to the hoop as Kennett’s Matt Lautenschlager tries to defend in action Jan. 31 in Wolfeboro. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
February 07, 2011
WOLFEBORO — The Kingswood boys' basketball team jumped out to an 8-0 lead on its Carroll County rivals from Kennett and never looked back, picking up a 59-35 win on Monday, Jan. 31.

A rebound and hoop from Tim Campbell, two David Hersey free throws, a steal and hoop from Joe Irvine and another hoop from Campbell staked Kingswood to an 8-0 lead out of the gate.

Mike Lautenschlager got Kennett's first points of the night, but Kingswood's Kohl Meyers answered right back. After a Matt Lautenschlager hoop, Campbell and Hersey hit hoops, Campbell hit two free throws and David Velez drilled a three-pointer to give Kingswood a 19-4 lead after one quarter of play.

A steal and hoop from Meyers got the Knights off on the right foot in the second quarter, though Matt Lautenschlager answered with a pair from the charity stripe.

Irvine hit consecutive buckets to put Kingswood up 25-6 before Nate Ela drilled a three-pointer for the Eagles.

A steal and hoop from Meyers, a Tom Melnik free throw and another Meyers hoop stretched Kingswood's lead to 30-9 before Matt Lautenschlager hit a free throw and then a field goal to make it 30-12.

Meyers hit a free throw, but Kennett's Brian Fox answered with a bucket. After a Hersey free throw, Ela hit a three pointer. However, a Velez free throw and an Irvine bucket closed out the half and the Knights had a commanding 35-17 lead heading to the break.

Campbell opened the second half with a hoop for the Knights, but Kennett's Alex Milford drilled back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead to 14.

However, Hersey hit a three-pointer of his own to push the Knights back out by a 17-point margin. After an Ela free throw, a rebound and hoop from Hersey made it 42-24.

Dustin Stewart completed a three-point play for the Eagles, but Irvine followed with two from the free throw line for the Knights. Matt Lautenschlager hit a bucket for the Eagles, but Irvine closed out the third quarter with another hoop to give Kingswood a 46-29 lead heading to the final frame.

Irvine hit back-to-back hoops to open the fourth quarter and Velez hit a hoop, pushing the Knght lead to 52-29. Matt Lautenschlager hit for two and after an Irvine free throw hit another bucket to make it 53-33.

Meyers, Velez and Melnik converted for the Knights down the stretch while Ela hit two from the free throw line to close out Kennett's scoring.

"Everybody played their hearts out," Kingswood coach Dan Chick said. "I think they (Kennett) are pretty inexperienced and we took advantage of that."

The veteran coach was pleased that he continues to gave great attitudes no matter the playing time situation and was happy to get a lot of people a lot of minutes and also get a big win.

"This is a win we definitely needed," he said. "This is one we can build on.

"But we had to work hard to make sure it happened," he continued.

Chick went on to praise the great game from Irvine. The senior center led all scorers with 17 points and also pulled down 20 rebounds and came up with seven steals.

"He had a huge night," Chick said. "That was his best in a varsity uniform."

For Kennett coach Steve Coté, it was the first game the team played without leading scorer Brandon Frost, which made things a bit more difficult.

"We're a young team getting a lot of good experience against some good teams," the Eagle coach said. "There's a couple of kids that really need to start stepping up."

He was hoping that another week or two of practicing will help the offense flow a bit better now that Frost is out of the picture, but he was still pleased with the effort and attitude he got from his players in the loss.

"I'm happy with what I saw tonight with the effort and attitude," he said. "Some of these kids were role players a week ago, they're not used to that level of physicality.

"But we knew Kingswood was going to be physical," Coté continued. "That's their game."

The Kennett coach also noted no excuses were in order.

"One of the things we promised ourselves is we're not going to make excuses," he said. "We just need them to step up, understand their role, play hard and never put our heads down."

In addition to Irvine's 17 points, Kingswood saw Meyers pour in 11, while Campbell and Hersey each had 10. Campbell also pulled down 18 rebounds.

Matt Lautenschlager led the Eagle charge with 13 points, while Ela added eight.

More Knights

The Kennett game was supposed to be the start of a busy week for the Knights, but Mother Nature gave them a reprieve, postponing Wednesday's game with St. Thomas to Feb. 26.

That left just one more game on the schedule and the Knights traveled to Durham on Friday, Feb. 4, to take on the Bobcats of Oyster River.

The hosts came out quite strong, taking a 38-19 lead at halftime, but the Knights charged back and closed the gap to four points in the fourth quarter before eventually falling, 77-67.

"They jumped on us pretty good," Chick said. "We played very tentatively and that was our downfall in the first half."

Like they had done against Laconia a week earlier, the Knights changed things up a bit, this time making the changes at halftime.

"In the locker room we changed things up at both ends of the floor and it caused a lot of chaos for them," Chick said.

The Knights went to a "hurry-up" offense, allowing for only five seconds to get a shot off, much like the Laconia game's final minutes. They also went after the Bobcats on the defensive end like they had in Laconia.

"That created a lot of turnovers," Chick noted. "That extra pressure was something that really disrupted their offensive flow."

The Bobcats are one of Division II's best and had shown that a week earlier when they led the consensus pick as the state's best team, Milford, by 17 points in the fourth quarter.

However, they also have the capacity to fall apart, as they eventually lost that Milford game and Chick noted that the Knights saw a bit of that on Friday night.

While the Knights did cut the lead to four, they also missed 14 free throws and botched five lay-ups in the fourth quarter.

"We had defenders on us, but we had opportunities, good opportunities to really do it right," Chick said.

Meyers finished with 26 points, while Irvine had 10 points and 14 rebounds. Hersey had 13 points and Campbell had eight points and 15 rebounds.

Despite strong rebounding performances from Irvine and Campbell, the Bobcats outrebounded the Knights, which Chick said was a bit disappointing.

Kingswood will be in action on Friday, Feb. 11, when they host Merrimack Valley at 6:30 p.m. On Tuesday, Feb. 15, they head to Coe-Brown for a 6:30 p.m. tilt with the Bears.

More Eagles

Like the Knights, the Eagles were also slated to have a busy week, but Mother Nature took care of that too, postponing Wednesday's scheduled tilt with Bishop Brady to tonight, Feb. 10, at 6:30 p.m. in Concord.

The Eagles did welcome Hanover to town on Saturday, Feb. 5, for a matinee performance and dropped a 77-35 decision.

One of the Eagles' goals was to slow down Hanover guard Sam Carney, who had torched them in Hanover a week earlier. In that they were successful, but the rest of the Marauders picked up the slack.

"The good news is we did a nice job against Carney," Coté said. "The bad news is the other guys killed us on the boards and we weren't deep enough to counter their attack."

Matt Lautenschlager got Kennett on the board first, but Hanover netted five points in a row to take a quick lead.

After a Stewart hoop off a great Milford pass cut the lead to one, the visitors went on a 13-0 run, opening up an 18-4 lead. Milford finally hit a hoop to get Kennett back on the board, but Hanover answered right back. Robert Starkey drilled a bucket at the buzzer to cut the lead to 12, 20-8, after one quarter.

After a Hanover free throw to open the second, the Lautenschlager brothers hit back-to-back hoops to make it 21-12. However, the visitors went on a 14-0 run, expanding the lead to 35-12. Shawn Beattie hit a pair from the line for the Eagles, but the Marauders got a three-pointer prior to the buzzer and finished the half with a 38-14 lead.

Milford hit a three-pointer to put Kennett on the board first in the second half, but Hanover followed with a hoop. Matt Lautenschlager hit a free throw and a hoop to cut the deficit to 40-20. After a free throw and a three-pointer from Hanover, Milford hit another three-pointer to make it 44-23, but Hanover closed out the third quarter with a 13-0 run, upping the lead to 57-23 after three quarters.

Hanover continued its run into the fourth quarter, netting the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to stretch the lead to 67-23.

Starkey got Kennett on the board with a three-pointer, but Hanover hit a shot and a free throw to answer. Starkey hit another three-pointer but Hanover hit another hoop. Milford drained a three-pointer and then hit a free throw, but Hanover netted a three-point play and a hoop to answer. Alex Houghton-Lyman got the final points of the night with a pair from the free throw line.

Milford finished with 12 points to lead the Eagles.

"They're just one of those teams," Coté said. "They don't look like much, but they are a very talented ball club, very deep.

"What they lack in size they make up for in heart," he continued. "They rebound as well as any team I've coached against."

In addition to tonight's game (Feb. 10) at Bishop Brady, the Eagles will be hosting Portsmouth on Friday, Feb. 11, and heading to Oyster River on Tuesday, Feb. 15. All three games start at 6:30 p.m. The Eagles return home to host Pembroke on Thursday, Feb. 17, also at 6:30 p.m.

JV action

The Kingswood JV boys defeated Kennett by a 46-22 score on Jan. 31. Cam Whitcomb and Parker Shure each had 11 points for Kingswood, while Ryan Vajentic had six points to lead Kennett.

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