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Bombers rally, clip Solon
Photo by Itamar Gat
Solon’s Stefon Fields can only put his hands up and hope for the best trying to defend 6-foot-10 Eric Truog of Kenston.
Bombers rally, clip Solon
By TONY LANGE
There appeared to be a lid on the bucket last Thursday evening as missed shots multiplied and rebounds piled up on the Kenston varsity basketball court.
The home Bombers managed to beat Solon, 39-35, despite having more turnovers than points in the first half. The postgame facial expressions of players on both teams matched that of defeat.
Kenston shot 10 of 25 from two-point range and one of three outside the three-point arc for a 39.3 shooting percentage.
Solon shot 12 of 31 from two-point range and three of 11 from downtown for a 35.7 shooting percentage.
The 4-0 Bombers are lucky to be undefeated, Kenston head coach Josh Jakacki said. In their previous game, the Bombers had to come from behind to beat Chagrin Falls in overtime.
"Let's face it. We should be 2-2. I'm very disappointed in our overall lack of ... " Jakacki said without finishing his sentence. "It's just unfortunate that we put ourselves in those types of situations the last two games to win that late. I'm not happy where we're at right now."
After the first quarter, Solon led 5-4. At halftime, Solon was up 18-12.
Kenston, however, outscored the Comets 27-17 in the second half for the win.
Solon, which fell to a 1-4 record, needs to shoot the basketball better, head coach Bob Patton said.
"It's not that we're getting bad shots. We're getting pretty good looks. We're just not making anything," he said. "I mean, I can't even describe how many easy ones we missed tonight. I think we were 0-7 in breakaway layups. We can't win basketball games without executing those two-on-ones."
The Comets did in fact get more open looks as they outshot Kenston 42-28, but the difference in the game was at the free throw line. Solon was two of two, while the Bombers were 16 of 26.
Senior Greg Ginther sealed the victory for the Bombers with his two made free throws with 4.5 seconds left in the game, which put Kenston up by two possessions.
"It definitely was nerve wrecking," said Ginther who finished the game with five points. "I knew I had to sink them just because there was no way we could let that opportunity to put the game away slip away again."
Top scorers for Kenston were big-man Eric Truog with 17 points and Darryl Richards with eight points.
Truog and Richards were the only two Bombers looking to score and other players need to pull the trigger offensively, Jakacki said.
Richards said Kenston was real focused at the defensive end.
"Solon didn't really have anybody to guard Truog," Richards said. "So, our mindset was defense. We had to make sure we slipped the screen and make sure our guards get through because they like to run a lot of screens. So once we knew we could take care of that, then we knew that we could contain them, because they really couldn't shoot that well."
During the fourth quarter, when Kenston outscored Solon 12-6, the Bombers kept the Comets from scoring until the 3:44 mark.
The game, however, was tied at 35 with less than a minute remaining.
Kenston senior Cody Shell scored all four of his points in the fourth quarter and was one of two guys on the floor for the Bombers who has late-game experience from last season.
"We basically just had to relax and not foul their shooters," Shell said about the last minute of the game. "We have a lot of young guys who don't have much varsity experience, so basically we just needed to calm down and use the talent that we have and we would get the win."
Truog, who has the most experience for Kenston, was able to knock down the go-ahead shot for the Bombers with 46.2 second left.
Kenston may have won, but it was disappointed with the victory, Truog said.
"We thought that we should come out here on our home floor and win by 20-plus points," he said. "But we didn't do that, so we're going to regroup and hopefully come out strong the next time."
The Bombers play next at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4 at Painesville Harvey.
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