Kennedy Catholic rules district, 57-43
The Eagles will play Our Lady of Sacred Heart in the PIAA meet on March 10.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
MEADVILLE -- For the Kennedy Catholic High Golden Eagles basketball team, the beat goes on.
After battling injuries all season, the Eagles put things together Friday night to claim the District 10 Class 10 championship, beating the Villa Maria Victors, 57-43.
"We got ourselves into a little bit of foul trouble early, but I thought we did a good job defensively and that allowed us to get things going on offense," said Kennedy coach Tim Loomis. "I was really pleased with our play in the first half, but for about six or seven minutes in the second half, we just didn't do the job."
The Eagles will play Our Lady of Sacred Heart on March 10 in the first round of the PIAA tournament.
It was Kennedy's ninth district title in a row, although Eagles coach Tim Loomis felt this one was probably a little more special due to the obstacles the Eagles had to face.
"This team is different and it is like the first year to me," said Loomis. "We had to start over at the end of January and by overcoming the obstacles they faced, this team really deserves the district championship."
Jackson leads Eagles
As he has done so many times this season, David Jackson led Kennedy with 16 points and 14 rebounds. However, one of the key factors in the late season success of the Eagles (20-6) has been the play of Eric Rodemoyer. Although the West Virginia-bound football player only scored six points, he hauled down eight rebounds while clogging up the middle by taking up a lot of space defensively.
The Eagles held Villa Maria's top two scorers -- Cory Chaffee and John Lowther -- to respective totals of nine and seven points. Both Chaffee and Lowther average more than 15 points per game.
Chaffee battled foul trouble, picking up three personal fouls less than six minutes into the second quarter.
After trailing by 18 early in the fourth, Villa Maria (19-8) cut its deficit to 10 (40-50) before the Eagles pulled away.
Pat Mastrian, Kyle Randall and Nick Heckathorn had nine points apiece in the victory.
For Villa Maria, Mike Galleher led the way with 11 points.
In the Class AAA consolation game, Erie Strong Vincent (21-6) beat Grove City (23-4), 69-48.
Earlier in the season, the Eagles had defeated the Colonels by 27 points.
After an 8-all tie at the end of the first period, Vincent outscored the Eagles 14-4 in the second period and 16-8 in the third stanza for a 38-20 lead before cruising down the stretch.
For Vincent, Maurice Williams led all scorers with 25 points.
On his first basket of the game, Grove City's Ryan King became the all-time leading scorer in Grove City history.
King finished with a career total of 1,351 points, surpassing the mark of Mike Johnson, who had 1,338.
Strong Vincent advanced to the state playoffs, while Grove City's season ends with back-to-back losses in the district tournament.