After beating Ursuline, the Eagles couldn't get past Warren Harding.
By DOUG CHAPIN
WARREN -- Everyone knew it was coming. The question was, could Kennedy High pull it off again. "It" was the deliberate style of offense and zone defense which the Eagles used Tuesday night to upset Youngstown Ursuline in overtime.
JFK slowed the tempo again Saturday against city rival Warren G. Harding, but the Raiders were equal to the task in a 48-41 victory.
"They did what they needed to do, give them credit. It was the same game plan they used against Ursuline," Harding coach Garry Rowland said. "We knew they would limit us to so many possessions, they would get back on defense and would throw what seemed like 20 passes before taking a shot."
Kennedy coach John Condoleon said he thought his players carried out the game plan well.
"I thought we played well enough to win, but we missed some easy lay-ups and we didn't cash in at the foul line," he said. "But we did a good job at what we wanted to do. To hold Harding to 48 points, you're in a great position to win. I feel like we let one slip away."
Patience: The Raiders have seen all this before.
"We always have a tough time responding to that type of game," Rowland said. "It's not how we like to play and I think it caused us to be overly patient offensively early in the game.
"No doubt its frustrating for the kids, but they did a good job containing that frustration. It's tough having to play defense, defense, defense. And because you have so few possessions, you value each one and it makes you panicky on offense."
The game plan worked well enough for the Eagles (7-8) to hold a 12-7 lead after one quarter and a 17-10 advantage halfway through the second quarter. Harding (13-3) gradually closed the gap before Tyson Rowland made an off-balance, running one-hander from behind the 3-point line at the buzzer to send the teams into the locker rooms tied at 21.
Harding then started the second half with its only real run of the game, but it was enough to put the Raiders in control. A hoop by Shelby Chaney and 3-pointers by Danny Stella and Ethan Banks put Harding ahead 29-21 at the 5:40 mark.
Condoleon called a timeout to slow things down and the Eagles responded by hanging tough and staying close throughout. Harding's biggest lead of the night was nine points, but on the other hand, JFK never got closer than five the rest of the way.
Putting it away: Harding led 33-25 after three quarters and maintained control, forcing Kennedy out of its zone into a man-to-man with about three minutes remaining. The Raiders were 5-of-5 at the foul line in the final quarter.
Stella was the only Raider in double figures with 11 points. Prescott Burgess added nine points and seven rebounds. Mike Phillips had a solid game with seven points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Chaney blocked four shots.
Kennedy was led by guards Chris Macali with 13 points, Keith Black with 11 and Colin Clemente with nine. They also handled the Harding pressure well.