Free­man lights up score­board for 41 points

Kent County News - - SPORTS -

WOR­TON — Kent County got its game back Thurs­day, erupt­ing for 31 first-quar­ter points on the way to a 92-63 blowout of win­less North Dorch­ester.

“We needed that,” coach Sobaye Scott said.

No kidding.

The Tro­jans (2-3) had dropped three games in a row, in­clud­ing a one-point loss to their neme­ses from Queen Anne’s.

“We’re an in­ex­pe­ri­enced team and that’s part of the rea­son we’ve been los­ing games in the last cou­ple of min­utes,” Scott said. “I think the more we play to­gether, the stronger we’ll be, and that’s what we’ll need down the stretch.”

The Kent-Queen Anne’s game on Dec. 13 was a toss-up that QA ul­ti­mately won in the fi­nal 8.9 sec­onds.

Kent’s losses to Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester (Dec. 11) and North Caro­line (Dec. 18) were by 16 and 14 points, re­spec­tively, though the Cam­bridge game was closely con­tested un­til about the last four min­utes and Kent was mi­nus a starter at North Caro­line.

A com­bi­na­tion of a red-hot JayShaun Free­man, who lit up the board with a ca­reer high of 41 points, and an over­matched op­po­nent con­spired in Kent’s fa­vor Dec. 20.

The Tro­jans led from tip-off to the fi­nal horn.

Free­man buried a hand­ful of threes and to­taled 21 points in the open­ing eight min- utes as Kent built a 31-18 lead by the end of the first frame.

Back-to-back 3-point­ers from Free­man gave the Tro­jans their first 10-point lead, 177, with less than five min­utes elapsed. They led by dou­ble-dig­its the rest of the way.

Jaden Wil­son con­tributed 16 points and Corey Wil­son added eight for Kent County, which re­ceived scoring from all but one player on its mod­est 11-man ros­ter.

Tyreek Valen­tine com­pleted a tra­di­tional three-point play on the Tro­jans’ first posses- sion of the sec­ond quar­ter, when Scott sat two of his starters and sub­sti­tuted lib­er­ally. The spread at half­time was 48-33. Free­man, Ny’tre Green, Ryan Argo and Dar­rius Jones knocked down 3-point­ers in the third quar­ter. Argo’s field goal from out­side the arc made it 67-47 with 2:01 re­main­ing in the frame.

Ev­ery Tro­jan logged min­utes in the fourth quar­ter when a com­bi­na­tion of starters and bench play­ers outscored their guests, 22-13. Jaden Wil­son led the way with eight points, Free­man had six, Green four and Taek­won Dug­gins two.

Kent was 6-of-6 from the free-throw line in the fourth quar­ter and 13-of-16 over­all.

In an in­ter­view im­me­di­ately af­ter the game, Scott said the Tro­jans are im­prov­ing their in­di­vid­ual skills and com­ing to­gether as a team. He has been es­pe­cially pleased with the devel­op­ment of ju­niors Argo (guard) and Valen­tine (6-foot-6, 250-pound post player).

Scott had hoped the Tro­jans would be on the plus side of .500 at the win­ter break, but he said he is sat­is­fied to be back in the win col­umn head­ing into this week’s Gov­er­nor’s Chal­lenge in Sal­is­bury — what has grown to be the largest hol­i­day basketball tour­na­ment in the coun­try with 120 teams.

Kent will face Ham­mond at 10 a.m. Dec. 28 at the Wi­comico Youth and Civic Cen­ter. The out­come of the game will de­ter­mine the venue and op­po­nent for Kent on the fol­low­ing day.

PHOTO BY TRISH MCGEE

Kent County coach Sobaye Scott ac­knowl­edges post player Tyreek Valen­tine as Valen­tine comes off the court in the third quar­ter Dec. 20. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound ju­nior scored five points in Kent’s 92-63 vic­tory over North Dorch­ester.

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