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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Highly ranked Inter-City already in a groove





When the Inter-City boys’ basketball team is clicking, it is tough to defend and even tougher to beat. The Cabrini Monarchs found that out the hard way on Friday night.

“It was nice to see balanced scoring,” said Inter-City Coach Mark Kraatz. “When we have multiple people scoring for us we are hard to guard. It was also nice to get everyone in and see the improvement of so many reserves. The boys played hard again, but we are not shooting the ball like I know we are capable of.”

The Chargers shot the ball well enough to knock off the Monarchs 68-24 and improve to 3-0 on the season as they head into the break with a perfect record, plenty of confidence but also a lot of work to do to reach the level they are shooting for this season.

Inter-City led 9-4 after the first quarter but pulled away with a big second quarter to take a 37-11 lead into halftime. The Chargers led 58-18 after three quarters.

Evan Kraatz led the balanced Chargers with 13 points, 10 assists and four steals. Troy Kazlaskas had 11 points and eight rebounds.

Brady Fressel had 10 points and six boards, Garrett Kraatz and Luke Barber each had nine points and Nick Carrico finished with eight points for the winners.

“We look forward to putting our whole game together after Christmas break,” Kraatz said.

Inter-City is off until Jan. 7 when the Chargers begin league play against Oakland at home. They also play on Jan. 10 against Southfield Christian.

“They are ranked No. 1 and we are ranked No. 2,” Kraatz said. “It should be fun.”

Cabrini was well aware of what it was up against with talented Inter-City.

“We knew this was going to be a tough game going into it, playing the night before and going against a team that runs floor as well as Inter-City does,” said Cabrini Coach Gerry Klos. “It got even harder when our starting point guard and leader Dave Szczesny sprained his ankle with 1:15 left to go in warm-ups and was out for game.”

Klos had to make some quick adjustments just minutes before tipoff.

“After switching around our starting lineup, our kids came out of the gate and played hard,” Klos said. “The first quarter ended with them leading 9-4 and we missed a lot of good looks around basket in that quarter.

“Then our inexperience started to show, again. We turned the ball over 21 times in first half and we are not going to win many ball games with that many turnovers.

“In the second half we just tried to chip away and keep our legs fresh, the fatigue started to show from playing the night before. Our kids played hard all night long.”

The night before, Cabrini knocked off Grosse Ile 59-50.

The Monarchs started slow, scoring just five points in the first quarter. Then midway through the second quarter, Cabrini struggled and went down 17-5.

“Then something clicked with our guys,” Klos said. “They started getting to the basket, making bunnies, which in turn led to some rhythm with hitting our outside shots.”

Cabrini went on an 18-2 run to end the first half to take a 23-19 lead.

Scott Smith poured in 16 points in the first half, with 14 of them coming in the second quarter.

The third quarter was slow for both teams as turnovers and missed shots dominated but Cabrini held on for a 34-29 lead heading into the final quarter.

“The last quarter was the total opposite of the previous quarter, both teams running the floor and hitting shots,” Klos said.

Smith stayed hot, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter and making all six free-throw attempts in the period. He finished the game with 37 points and six rebounds.

Szczesny had nine points and five rebounds. Nick Shirey and Al Formella put in a great rebounding effort, both with eight rebounds apiece.

“Ray Smith played outstanding defense on Grosse Ile's point guard, Danny McCarty,” Klos said. “It was a total team effort, and glad to get our first win of the year under our belts.”



Richard

Gabriel Richard returned to its winning ways on Thursday with a 49-44 win over visiting Star International Academy on Thursday.

The Pioneers were looking to rebound after a disappointing loss to Grosse Ile 59-40.

Richard traded buckets early with Star and the first quarter ended 11-11.

The Pioneers used a late run in the second quarter to begin to pull away.

However, it was the post play of Colton Jarratt, who scored eight points in the quarter and 14 in the half to extend the lead to 34-24 at the intermission.

Star International continued to hit big shot after big shot in the second half to keep itself in the game.

The combination of poor shooting and missed free throws would make the game interesting.

The Pioneers finished just 7-of-20 from the charity stripe.

“We have to learn to finish and close out games,” said Richard Coach Kris Daiek said. “Free throws are something that keeps you in games and can also lose games.”

The Pioneers saw their nine-point lead dwindle to just four with under a minute to go in the game.

The defense helped hold the lead down the stretch and the Pioneers help on for the win.

Jarratt had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Tyler Blaszczak scored eight and John Lemieux and sophomore Jake Lipetzky each scored seven in the win.

“We are a long way from where we need to be offensively and defensively,” Daiek said. “We have some time to fix our issues.”

The Pioneers will open up Catholic League play on Jan. 7 when they host Cranbrook at 7:30 p.m.

Last Updated: 12/23/2013 12:24:09 PM EST

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