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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Second-place Kennedy takes down unbeaten Truman (PHOTO/TOUT VIDEO)

Kennedy's Andia Marsh (11) finished with 25 points Monday night in a 57-46 defeat of in-city rival Truman. Photo by Frank Wladyslawski

From the start of the season, it looked like Truman would run away with another Downriver League title.

Not so fast.

A red-hot Kennedy team went across town Monday night and knocked off the rival Cougars (12-1, 9-1) 57-46, handing them their first defeat of the 2013-14 campaign.

For the second-place Eagles (10-3, 9-2 DRL) it extends their winning streak to five games and with one in-city matchup left, Kennedy has the power to force a tie atop the league standings.

A huge night from point guard Andia Marsh guided the visitors to victory, as he finished with 25 points and six rebounds in what was a makeup from last month.

“It’s a great feeling,” Marsh said. “We’ve been preparing for this the whole season-big game, big win.”

Teammate Anton Hogan added 12 points and six rebounds, while Brenden Williams came away with eight points and Matt Woloszyk led the way in rebounds with 10.

For Truman, Anthony Wartley-Fritz finished with 21 points and nine rebounds and Aaron Foster-Smith had 14 points and six rebounds.

Halfway through the first quarter, the Eagles were up 6-0 and led 8-4 at the buzzer. The Cougars only field goal in the first eight minutes was a late bucket from Wartley-Fritz.

Truman Coach Chuck Suttles said he had seen his Cougars slipping a bit in recent contests and on Monday it caught up with them.

“We played our last few games with less and less intensity and less and less determination,” he said. “We haven’t been playing together as a team. We were kind of spiraling in this direction and Kennedy just came out and shoved our faces in it.”

To open the second quarter, it looked like the hosts were ready to finally take charge, but instead it turned into a back-and-forth affair.

Foster-Smith drilled a quick triple and teammate Devain Newbill followed with a steal and a quick basket to give their squad a 9-8 lead less than 40 seconds in.

Kennedy hit back and went up 16-9, helped by big shots from Woloszyk and Hogan, but with six points from Wartley-Fritz, the Cougars went into the half tied 18-18 with the Eagles.

Out of the break, Kennedy got five points from Hogan and two from Marsh, which came courtesy of a steal, and the team grabbed a 27-18 advantage.

Once again Wartley-Fritz came up big for Truman, getting seven third-quarter points, but this time it just kept things from getting out control, as the Eagles took a 38-31 lead into the last eight minutes.

Twice the Cougars were able to pull within three points before it was over, but Marsh almost singlehandedly held off the opposition with 13 fourth-quarter points, nine of which came courtesy of free throws. Two of his most important shots came at the line came with about a minute left and put his team up 49-44.

Kennedy Coach Rich Lannon said that missed free throws had hurt his squad at times this season, but his players have worked hard since to improve that aspect of the game, as well as everything else.

“Early in the year we lost a couple of games (where) had we hit free throws we win them,” Lannon said. “I think it’s all just mental…We’ve done a better job. The kids are starting to really buy in and they’re starting to play together.”

To put the game on ice, Brendan Williams and Marsh both nailed free throws inside the final minute and the Eagles went on to celebrate the 11-point upset victory.

Both teams will be in action again Tuesday, as Kennedy will travel to Trenton and Truman will head to Anderson.

The next scheduled meeting for the Eagles and Cougars is Feb. 21 at Kennedy.



Last Updated: 2/11/2014 1:17:20 AM EST

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