Buccaneers start, finish strong to beat Vikings
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: