CAPTAINS Zack Drouin and Pat Cassidy show off the Lakes Region Holiday Tournament championship plaque. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 09, 2012GILFORD — Though the battle between Kingswood and Prospect Mountain in the finals of the Lakes Region Holiday Tournament on Thursday, Dec. 29, came down to the last second, Kingswood coach Dan Chick noted that the game was really lost for his team in the early part of the second quarter.
After taking an 11-7 lead after one quarter, Prospect went on a 13-2 run to open the second quarter and opened up a 24-9 lead on the Knights. While Kingswood closed the quarter on a furious 14-0 run to cut the lead to one, they weren't able to close the game out in the end and Prospect took a thrilling 48-46 win to take the tournament title.
The final minutes of the game were a flurry of activity at both ends of the court, as the two teams frantically tried to pull ahead.
A pair of Zack Drouin free throws with 2:19 on the clock gave Prospect a 44-37 lead after the Timber Wolves had erased a short-lived Kingswood lead. Kingswood's Mackenzie Tetreault then drilled a three-pointer to cut the lead to four with two minutes to play.
A pair of Zach McKenzie free throws following a Kohl Meyers steal just seconds later cut he lead to 44-42.
Drouin got a pair from the line at the other end of the court to push the lead back to four with 1:40 to play, but back-to-back buckets from Adam Fritchy and Tetreault tied the score at 46 with 1:15 to play.
The Knights then drew an offensive foul to get the ball back with one minute to play. However, while trying to run down the clock, the Knights stepped out of bounds on the baseline, giving Prospect the ball back.
Meyers promptly stole the ball at the top of the key and took off back down the court. However, the ball was stolen by Pat Cassidy at the other end of the floor and the Prospect senior raced up the floor and sunk the shot with 12 seconds to play, giving the Timber Wolves a 48-46 lead.
Kingswood quickly got the ball back down the court, but a Tetreault three-pointer clanged off the rim and Prospect had the hard-fought win.
"It didn't have to come down to that," Chick said. "We lost that game in the second quarter.
"They made mistakes and we didn't take advantage of it," he continued. "We played OK other than that."
The veteran coach noted he was pleased his team didn't fold up the tent and go home when the Timber Wolves jumped to that second quarter lead. He also said he never expected his kids to fold.
"If we ever fold, I'll be subbing five guys at a time," he said.
Prospect coach Tom Bourdeau echoed his Kingswood counterpart's point.
"We made it a little more exciting than we wanted," Prospect coach he said. "But we didn't fold. It would have been easy to fold, being down three with three guys with four fouls."
The defensive-minded Timber Wolf mentor noted that the 46 points was more than he likes to give up, but noted that it was the early defense that allowed his team to be in the game at the end.
"If we don't play defense like we did early, they'd have beaten us," Bourdeau noted.
Buckets from Drouin and Austin Perrin got Prospect out to an early 4-0 lead, but a Tetreault steal and hoop cut the lead in half. After Drouin hit a free throw, Meyers drilled two from the line to cut the lead to 5-4. Prospect's Jay Mousseau hit a free throw to push the lead to two, but a Tetreault three-pointer gave Kingswood its first lead at 7-6. Perrin followed with a three-pointer and Mousseau drilled a hoop to make it 11-7 after one quarter of play.
Prospect opened the second quarter with the aforementioned 13-2 run, as Mousseau hit two hoops and Drouin and Cassidy each hit one to open the frame. After McKenzie got Kingswood on the board midway through the quarter, Drouin drained a three-pointer and Perrin finished off a great Logan Roberts save with a hoop for the 24-9 lead.
Kingswood then came back to life, as Meyers hit a hoop with 1:35 to go in the period. Fritchy then finished off a nice Meyers feed and Meyers converted a three-point play to cut the lead to 24-16.
Meyers then drilled four free throws after a technical foul and McKenzie sank a three-pointer to close out the half on the 14-0 run and cutting the Prospect lead to 24-23.
Cassidy and Meyers exchanged hoops to open the third. After a Mousseau free throw, Roberts converted a Mousseau steal for a 29-25 lead, but Meyers hit the next two hoops to tie the game at 29 with 4:25 to go in the frame.
Drouin and McKenzie exchanged hoops and a McKenzie free throw put the Knights up by one with two minutes to go in the third. Fritchy then hit a bucket to give Kingswood its largest lead of the evening. A Zach Robertson bucket pulled Prospect back to within one, but a Fritchy three-pointer stretched the lead to four again. Drouin hit a free throw to close out the quarter, but Kingswood had come all the way back for a 37-34 lead with eight minutes to play.
Drouin hit two free throws to open the quarter and Kingswood went into a bit of a stall offense to slow the ball down. Prospect eventually got the ball back, with Roberts hitting a hoop for a 38-37 lead. The Timber Wolves then began stalling a bit at their end. Drouin then got a steal and hoop and then went baseline after a big Roberts defensive rebound. Drouin then hit the pair from the line that put the Timber Wolves up 44-37 and started the wild ending.
"The fans got their money's worth, whether we won or not," Bourdeau said. "I still feel good about my team. We didn't quit."
"We made more mistakes than we had this year," Chick said. "That had to do with the fact that we didn't come ready to play. We came out flat, very flat."
Drouin finished with 21 points to lead the Timber Wolves, while Meyers had 17 and McKenzie had 10 to lead the Knights. Fritchy hit three three-pointers for his nine points on the night.
Drouin earned tournament MVP honors for his play and was joined on the All-Tournament First Team by Meyers. Cassidy and McKenzie both earned All-Tournament Second Team honors.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126