Buc­ca­neers start, fin­ish strong to beat Vik­ings

Record Observer - - Sports -

CAM­BRIDGE — The Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High boys’ bas­ket­ball team be­gan the se­cond leg of the reg­u­lar sea­son Tues­day against a Kent Is­land squad which hadn’t played since be­fore Christ­mas.

“We played six games in 10 days to that point,” Buc­ca­neers head coach Frank Kra­tovil said, “and we didn’t play over the Christ­mas break. They got some rest, though we prac­ticed.”

The c were sim­ply hop­ing to build good habits af­ter go­ing 0-2 over the break in the an­nual Gov­er­nors Chal­lenge tour­na­ment.

A 10-0 start by the Buc­ca­neers put them ahead for good, though the Vik­ings ral­lied as the game wound down. A 5-0 run cut the Bucs’ lead from eight to three, at 49-46, with 4:44 to play.

But Kent Is­land — play­ing “a lit­tle tired,” in the words of swing man Tariq John­son — used a 15-2 stretch run to pull away for a 64-48 vic­tory — only its se­cond in school his­tory over the Vik­ings in boys’ bas­ket­ball.

“I’m still look­ing, right now, to be able to progress, to get a lit­tle bet­ter each game,” said Vik­ings head coach Vic Burns, whose only re­turn­ing starter, Koby Jones, went down for the sea­son in his team’s open­ing-night win over Sal­is­bury School on Dec. 5. “I pulled up a kid from jayvee tonight, who played good on de­fense . ... His name’s Davion Ralph, and he’s ath­letic.

“But right now, un­less some­one steps in that I don’t know about, our big­gest prob­lem is scor­ing,” Burns said. “I’m not try­ing to take any­thing away from Kent Is­land. They’re good. Their best player, No. 1... Tariq [John­son] is a very good ballplayer, and the John VanWie kid scored some bas­kets on us tonight, cut­ting into the lane. ... But we are still go­ing to need to score no mat­ter what our de­fense does.

“I did al­most have three kids in dou­ble fig­ures tonight, so that’s a good thing,” Burns said. “We just need to work each game, get a lit­tle bet­ter . ... We’re still look­ing for that sig­na­ture win.”

C-SD (4-5 over­all, 2-3 North Bay­side) got out of its funk as the first pe­riod ended, pulling within 13-8. But Kent Is­land stretched its lead to six with an 18-17 se­cond pe­riod. Cam­bridgeSD’s Keyshawn John­son (15 points) had seven in the se­cond to keep things close, but Kent Is­land’s Selby Scaggs, who fin­ished with 11, matched it.

“We had not played well all game, to be hon­est with you,” Kra­tovil said. “The first half we had fallen asleep, even go­ing into the third quar­ter, we were asleep. We weren’t play­ing with en­ergy.

“Go­ing into the fourth quar­ter, I said, ‘Those three quar­ters are gone, and we’re still up,’” Kra­tovil added. “’Let’s take our time, let’s run the of­fense, and ex­e­cute.’”

Kent Is­land (4-3, 4-1) ex­tended its ad­van­tage in the third quar­ter, lead­ing by as much as 10 points be­fore head­ing into the fourth.

Down 49-41 go­ing into the fi­nal pe­riod, Cam­bridgeSD needed some­thing to hap­pen. And it fi­nally did, sev­eral key re­bounds, and two timely shots — Tre Board­ley’s three-pointer with 6:50 to go, and John­son’s jumper from the left side with 4:44 left pulled the Vik­ings within 49-46.

The Buc­ca­neers re­sponded.

“We just had to work through it, and ex­e­cute, just like coach said,” said Tariq John­son, who fin­ished with 12 points. “I could feel my­self get­ting a lit­tle tired at a cou­ple of spots dur­ing the game, but we just had to keep go­ing.”

Jack­son Kra­tovil, held to a sin­gle bas­ket dur­ing the first 24 min­utes, cut from the left el­bow, down the base­line for a layup off a Scaggs feed to make it 5146 with 4:20 to go. Dal­las Miller (13 points) hit a trey with 3:38 left, mak­ing it an eight-point game.

VanWie (game-high 18 points) slashed into the paint with 3:02 re­main­ing, and de­liv­ered the dag­ger, a layup that made it a 10-point game again.

Miller scored the next bucket and as­sisted on the two af­ter that — the last, an al­ley-oop as­sist off the glass to Tariq John­son for a two-handed jam to cap the clos­ing run, with 25.3 ticks left.

Held score­less af­ter Keyshawn John­son’s jumper made it a three-point game, Cam­bridge-SD ended its drought be­fore the buzzer on Keyshawn John­son’s layup.

The abil­ity of starters VanWie and Miller (who hit a game-high three three-point­ers, fin­ish­ing with 13), and then Scaggs off the bench, to pro­vide a coun­ter­punch to the threat of Tariq John­son was a key part of the Bucs’ win, Burns said.

“It’s tough when you’re in our spot, and you’re try­ing to hold one guy down, but then they have one, two, three more guys come in and start scor­ing, too,” Burns said. “That’s a good thing to have, is guys who can com­ple­ment your big scor­ing guys.”

Notes: Ty­on­bre McKnight scored nine points for C-SD . ... The Bucs’ first boys’ var­sity win against C-SD was 45-42 at home on Jan. 7, 2013; three of the teams’ four meet­ings be­fore Tues­day were de­cided by six points or less, in­clud­ing a 75-71, dou­bleover­time win by the Vik­ings in Stevensville last Jan. 7. Fol­low me on Twit­ter:

@David_s­tar­dem.

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