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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Kennedy, Roosevelt win district openers

Once district tournaments begin, it’s win or go home.

On Monday, two local teams won and two others went home.

Kennedy and Roosevelt advanced to the Class A District 14 semifinals with opening round victories at Carlson High School on Monday.

Anderson has specialized in upsets this season, but the Titans found themselves on the wrong end of one in a 51-45 loss to Kennedy in the early game on Monday.

The Titans held an advantage that never exceeded four points throughout the first three quarters before Kennedy exploded in the fourth with an 18-8 advantage.

Trailing 37-33 entering the fourth, the Eagles held Anderson without a field goal for more than seven and a half minutes to pull away.

Kennedy’s Vertez Tillman scored all 14 of his points in that final quarter and was the beneficiary of some easy buckets thanks to turnovers forced by the Eagles’ pressure defense.

“I think the zone gave them problems,” Kennedy Coach Rich Lannon said. “Our guys are very good at zoning up and anticipating. We made the right reads.”

Points were not easy to come by in the first half and the score remained close with Anderson taking a 19-17 lead at the break.

Both offenses woke up in the third quarter, but neither team could gain a foothold until Anderson’s Trey Harris knocked down a three-pointer with 1:10 remaining in the quarter to take a four-point lead entering the fourth.

Each team made a habit of making the extra pass in the third and used solid ball movement to get high percentage shots.

“Early in the year, we were looking to shoot seven, eight seconds in,” Lannon said. “We were taking shots the zone was giving us and not getting the shots we really wanted and that was huge to us.

“We were able to reverse the ball and the guys got a little confidence. The guys who came off the bench gave us a lift and we were able to bring guys back in and give us another lift. It was totally a team win and we never quit.”

Matt Woloszyk scored 12 points for the Eagles and Andia Marsh scored 10.

Harris led the Titans with 14 points and six assists. Juwan Graham scored nine and Connor Phee added eight in the loss.

Kennedy will take on Woodhaven at 5:30 pm on Wednesday in the district semifinals.

In the late game, Roosevelt had its way with Riverview in a 58-35 Bears win.

The Bears pressed early and often and used their aggressiveness and athleticism to limit Riverview shot opportunities throughout the first half.

“We played them in the first game of the year and we kind of felt like we could pressure the ball,” Roosevelt Coach Dave Cramton said. “We pressured the ball and denied passes and tried to get them to up the tempo.”

After three minutes of scoreless basketball to open the game, Roosevelt’s pressure led to free throw opportunities and transition baskets for a 16-6 lead after one quarter.

It was more of the same in the second quarter with Pirate shot opportunities being few and far between, allowing Roosevelt to carry a 28-12 lead into the half.

“I think we took shots in the flow of the offense,” Cramton said. “We got on the offensive glass and I think it was very good for a first game.”

The Bucs more than doubled their first half point total in the third quarter with 18 by taking advantage of Roosevelt’s up-tempo defense by driving to the basket and crashing the glass.

“In the first half, we missed about four layups,” Lamb said. “In the third, we penetrated and moved the ball and those shots started falling.”

Connor MacDougal knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the third and helped Riverview climb to within 13 points – 43-30 – with eight points in the quarter.

Riverview got within 11 points early in the fourth, but the Roosevelt held the Bucs scoreless over the final four and a half minutes to cruise to a 23-point victory.

“Riverview played a solid game and cut it to 11,” Cramton said. “Give them credit.”

Roosevelt’s Devan Stewart shot well all night and led all scorers with 23 points.

“Devan was under control the whole game,” Cramton said. “Nothing was forced on his part and he did an excellent job there.”

Damon Singleton had 11 points and Divon Robinson had seven points and six rebounds.

“Coach Cramton does a wonderful job,” Lamb said. “They are very good and so athletic.”

MacDougal led the Bucs with 13 points, Khalil Neal had 10 and Jon Houdek added six points and six rebounds.

“My kids played so hard and I couldn’t ask any more of them,” Lamb said. “I couldn’t ask any more of them.

“Wyandotte is a great team and they really made some tough shots down the stretch there.”

Roosevelt will play host Carlson at 7 pm on Wednesday.

Last Updated: 3/5/2013 12:56:41 PM EST

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