By Jeremy McDonald
MT. ANGEL, Ore.– There is no denying the talent that #9 Kennedy has with Rocco Carley and Emoreji Link presents a challenge to teams even though they entered Monday’s Tri-River League match-up with a 9-10 record.
And when these two teams met on December 19, the Trojans walked away with a sound 53-35 victory over St. Paul to start league-play; but Monday’s game was a tad different.
Kennedy built a ten point lead on the Buckaroos, but St. Paul hung around. Trading blows with the Trojans despite what the scoreboard was showing as the lead fluctuated between eight and 12 points in favor of the home-twon Kennedy team.
“It was more frustrating that we were within seven or ten points when you want to win a game of course,” said Jaidyn Jackson, who led the Bucks with eight points. “We didn’t rebound really well, they had a lot of offensive boards at the beginning of the game.”
St. Paul picked up some momentum late in the first half though with some defensive boards and some work on the defensive front, but it didn’t translate into offense until the third quarter when they cut the deficit to seven points following Alex De La Cerda and his tough lay-up as the Buckaroos found themselves down seven entering the fourth quarter down 41-34.
But, that would be the closest that they would get as Kennedy began to out-rebound St. Paul during the final eight minutes of the game and translated that to points to swing momentum back in their favor, outscoring the Bucks 19-6 in the fourth to seal the 57-40 victory as St. Paul now will look to get back to the winning ways Friday when they host Central Linn at 7pm
“They’re a great team but there’s nothing much you can do then compete the best you can and hope they miss a shot and you make some. They played well tonight so did we, we just didn’t get the ‘W’ tonight,” said Campbell Smith, who added another six points and had a few boards to his resume Monday night on the Torjans.
“(We) just keep playing the whole game, you know we got it to seven at one time, we just got to keep on that momentum a little longer, it would’ve been different.”
Justin Herberger and Holden Smith both had seven points, De La Cerda added five, Eric Diaz had four and Rawley Koch had three points in the loss.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald