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Knights close out their gym with a win



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KINGSWOOD SENIORS (l to r) Nate Nicholas, Everett Wyers, Tom Melnik, David Velez, Tim Campbell, Phil Erwin, Joe Irvine and Dave Hersey pose for a photo prior to their final home game on Friday. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
February 21, 2011
WOLFEBORO — In their final game in the Kingswood gymnasium, the Kingswood basketball boys almost let one slip away.

However, the Knights pulled together for a strong fourth quarter and pulled away from Plymouth on Friday, Feb. 18, closing out Senior Night with a 60-45 victory.

"They battled real hard and we knew they would," said Kingswood coach Dan Chick. "They're a young inexperienced team but they play hard.

"But they also make a lot of mistakes," he continued.

Kingswood came out of the gate strong, leaping out to a 13-0 lead, keeping the Bobcats off the board for close to seven minutes to start the game. Plymouth's first hoop came with 1:03 to go in the first quarter.

Dave Hersey got Kingswood on the board first and Kohl Meyers followed with a hoop and then an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 7-0.

Hersey hit a hoop and then two foul shots and followed that with another hoop, giving Kingswood a 13-0 lead before Plymouth had a chance to put one in the hoop.

The visitors got their first hoop, a three-pointer, and then added a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut Kingswood's lead to 13-6 after one quarter.

Plymouth kept that momentum to open the second quarter, as they netted the first four points of the frame to cut the Knights' lead to three. After a Joe Irvine rebound and hoop, Plymouth came right back with their own basket to stay within striking distance.

Meyers hit a three-pointer to stretch the Knight lead to 18-12, but the Bobcats got a three-point play to pull back within three points and then hit another free throw to cut the lead to two.

Tom Melnik hit a hoop to give Kingswood a 20-16 lead, but Plymouth came back with a three-pointer to cut the lead to one and then added a free throw to tie the game at 20 with less than a minute to play in the half.

However, Melnik got a rebound and put it back in the net to give Kingswood the slim halftime lead, 22-20.

Irvine came out and hit the first hoop of the second half to up Kingswood's lead to four, but Plymouth got the next seven points and pulled out to a 27-24 lead.

Tim Campbell and Zack McKenzie hit back-to-back buckets to put Kingswood back in the lead with four minutes to go in the quarter, 28-27 and then Meyers converted off an Irvine steal and pushed Kingswood's lead to 30-27.

Plymouth answered by burying a three-pointer and then hit a hoop, taking the lead back at 32-30.

Adam Fritchy converted another Irvine steal to tie the game at 32 and Meyers hit a free throw to give Kingswood a one-point lead. McKenzie then buried a three-pointer from the corner to up the lead to 36-32.

After a Bobcat free throw, Melnik finished a great pass from McKenzie for two points and then buried a three-pointer to put Kingswood's lead at 41-33. However, Plymouth got a hoop at the bucket and trailed by just six, 41-35, heading to the final frame.

Irvine got Kingswood on the board quick in the fourth quarter with a rebound and bucket, but Plymouth answered. Hersey put home a hoop but again Plymouth answered, staying within six points.

However, back-to-back buckets from Phil Erwin and Campbell pushed Kingswood's lead to 10 at 49-39. Plymouth got a free throw, but Campbell got a bucket to make it an 11-point game, 51-40.

The visitors drained a three-pointer with two minutes to go to cut the lead to eight, but Irvine finished off a nice pass from David Velez, Campbell and Meyers each hit a free throw, Velez got a rebound and bucket then a pair of free throws to make it 59-43 before Plymouth got another hoop.

Nate Nicholas closed out the scoring with a free throw, giving the Knights the 60-45 win.

"We needed to crank it up in the fourth and luckily we had enough gas in the tank to do it," Chick said. "Phil (Erwin) sparked us, especially defensively."

For the Knights, Meyers finished with 12 points to lead the way, while Hersey had 10. Melnik added nine and Irvine had eight points and grabbed 15 rebounds.

Things didn't go quite as well for Kingswood three nights earlier, as they fell to Coe-Brown, 89-51.

"They did anything they wanted to do with us," Chick said. "We played very poor defense."

The Knights will finish the season with a pair of road games. Tonight, Feb. 24, they head to Souhegan and Wednesday, March 2, they head to Kennett. Both games are slated for 6:30 p.m. starts. The Kennett game was originally slated for March 1, but was pushed back a day because the Kennett girls will be hosting a playoff game on March 1.

JV action

Coach Tim Lee's Knight JV boys raced to a 51-41 win over Plymouth. Cam Whitcomb had 12 points and Parker Shure added 10 to pace the Knights. Ben Burrows chipped in with 17 rebounds on the evening.

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