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Four guards lead Eagles to first win

Joshua Spaulding image
by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

COLBY LIVINGSTON drives to the basket against Bishop Brady pressure in action on Jan. 9. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 15, 2018
NORTH CONWAY — The Bishop Brady hoop boys came to Kennett on Tuesday night featuring a team with much more height than the host Eagles.

This led to a clash of different styles of basketball, but Kennett's three-guard system did its job and the Eagles came away with their first win of the season, defeating the Giants 61-51.

"They're a long team, pretty long for us," Kennett coach Jack Loynd said of Brady's height. "So it was an interesting battle of different styles.

"But we did a really good job of pressure defense," Loynd continued. "If we play half-court with them, we lose."

The Giants jumped out to the early lead, hitting a hoop and converting a three-point play to take a 5-0 lead out of the gate but Justin Olson got the Eagles on the board with a hoop. After another Giant basket, Olson drained a three-pointer to cut the lead to two but Brady sunk two free throws to up the lead to 9-5.

Back-to-back baskets from Brett Miller and Colby Livingston pulled the Eagles even at nine and after a Giant basket, Kennett got two hoops from Miller and a three from Alex Butts to go up by a 16-11 score. Brady hit two free throws to close out the quarter to make it 16-13 after eight minutes.

Foster Piotrow hit a hoop to get things started in the second quarter and Noah Fitzsimmons followed with a free throw. Bishop Brady hit a basket but Kennett followed with the next 10 points to open up a 14-point lead. Butts hit two baskets and then Piotrow drained two from long distance to give the Eagles the 29-15 lead.

The visitors came back and got a free throw, a field goal and a three-pointer to close out the quarter, making it a 29-21 game at the halftime break.

The Giants got the first hoop of the second half but Kennett came back with six points in a row. Trey Snowden got a free throw to start the run, then Olson finished off a steal with a basket and Livingston drilled a three-pointer to make it 35-23. Bishop Brady got a hoop but Fitzsimmons came back with a free throw and a hoop for the Eagles.

Livingston had a hoop sandwiched between two Brady baskets and then Kennett closed out the quarter with hoops from Piotrow and Butts and the Eagles had the 44-29 lead heading to the final eight minutes of play.

Piotrow started the scoring in the fourth quarter with a hoop but Brady came back with a hoop and three free throws to stay in the game. Miller and Livingston answered with hoops for the Eagles and after a Brady basket, Livingston finished off a steal with another hoop. The Giants got a free throw and a hoop before Livingston sank another three-pointer.

After Brady hit two from the free throw line, Olson stepped behind the arc and hit another three and the Giants answered with a hoop. Butts then drilled another three-pointer for a 61-43.

The Giants did the rest of the scoring, hitting a three-pointer, converting a three-point play and then hitting a field goal to make it a 61-51 final.

"We took better care of the ball under pressure," Loynd noted. "We rebounded really well, especially considering the height advantage."

The Eagle coach noted that while the first few games had not gone in the win column for his squad, the hard work has never stopped and he's glad to see it pay off.

"The kids played really hard and they've done that the whole season," Loynd said. "It's nice to get a win, the pressure builds the more games you play without a win.

"We've been in every game this year," the Eagle coach continued. "It's an exceedingly tough league this year."

The four-guard combination of Livingston, Butts, Piotrow and Olson all hit in double figures, which Loynd said was obviously a key factor.

"The four guys through the three positions really paid off for us," Loynd said. "It would've been hard to keep up the pressure for 32 minutes otherwise."

Livingston finished with 14 points to lead the way, Butts and Piotrow each added 12 points and Olson added 10.

Kennett wrapped the week with a 58-54 win at John Stark on Friday.

The Eagles will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 16, as they host Plymouth at 6:30 p.m.

The Kennett JV boys picked up a 46-35 win over Bishop Brady, withWill Eaton leading the way with 10 points on the evening.

KHS 16-13-15-17-61

BBHS 13-8-8-22-51

Kennett 61

Trey Snowden 0-1-1, Livingston 6-0-14, Miller 4-0-8, Fitzsimmons 1-2-4, Olson 4-0-10, Butts 5-0-12, Piotrow 5-0-12, Totals 25-3-61

Bishop Brady 51

1-1-3, Coffin 1-0-2, B. Johnson 7-6-22, Rivera 1-0-2, R. Johnson 4-1-9, Fraser 4-5-13, Totals 18-13-51

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or josh@salmonpress.news.

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