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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Fast start leads Kennedy to victory over Melvindale

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Showing no signs of having played a game less than 24 hours earlier, the Taylor Kennedy boys’ basketball team rocketed out of the gate and used a big first quarter to bury Melvindale 40-28 at home Friday night in a Downriver League matchup.

Coming off of a win against Woodhaven, the Eagles (8-3, 7-2 DRL) shut out the Cardinals (3-8, 3-6 DRL) in the first eight minutes by a score of 11-0 in a fast paced first quarter.

Kennedy Coach Rich Lannon said he wasn’t surprised by his team’s quick start because it’s how they play.

“One of the things we talk about is making teams play fast, make them play Kennedy basketball,” said Lannon. “I thought we did a good job of coming out fast, but I wasn’t surprised by it. I was surprised though that we weren’t able to sustain through our bench.”

Melvindale cut the lead in the second quarter thanks to the shooting of Malik Boynton and Ricardo Cripps. The two senior guards scored 10 of the Cardinals’ 12 second-quarter points, including a pair of big threes.

Cripps hit his three from the top of the key at the buzzer to pull Melvindale to within six, 18-12, at the half.

Coming out of the break, Kennedy turned to its leading scorer Andia Marsh.

The junior guard averages 16.9 points per game, but was held to only two first-half points due to foul trouble.

In the third, Marsh was able to get into the lane and scored eight of his game-high 15 points in the quarter and Kennedy pushed the lead back to double digits, at 29-18, heading to the fourth.

Melvindale couldn’t seem to make the one big play to get back in the game in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals cut the lead to nine and had several chances to make it closer, but Kennedy seemed to grab every rebound and get to every loose ball.

“I thought in the half court game Melvindale was better. I thought in the open court we were a little bit better,” said Lannon. “We were able to get some loose balls, some 50-50 balls and some offensive rebounds that I think were enough to separate it (the game).”

Melvindale Coach Mac Horvath said it was his team’s inability to hit shots that cost his squad the game, but the team’s goals still remain the same.

“We just couldn’t make a shot. I mean it didn’t matter if it was a three, a lay-up or a tip-in,” said Horvath. “I mean I haven’t done the stats or anything, but I doubt we shot over 25 percent.

“We’re just trying to peak in March. That’s our goal, to peak in March.”

Marsh had 15 points and seven boards to lead the Eagles. Anton Hogan had four points and 11 rebounds.

Kennedy’s Matt Woloszyk scored four points to go along with 11 rebounds, five blocks and two steals in a solid effort.

Cripps had eight points and five rebounds for the Cardinals.

Last Updated: 2/1/2014 2:40:00 AM EST