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Ahr Pulls Away In Fourth To Defeat JFK, 62-50
By Greg Machos
January 6, 2012
NORTH EDISON, NJ--Coming off a come from behind overtime win against Blue Division rival Carteret two nights earlier, Bishop Ahr was looking to build on the momentum from that victory when it faced J.F. Kennedy in a Blue Division Clash featured on WCTC 1450 AM on Friday night. It took until the second half for things to come together, but the Trojans found a way to beat a Mustang team that is better than their record indicates.
In a game that was back and forth, and had several huge swings in momentum in the first quarter alone, BGA pulled away from a 48-47 lead with a 14-3 tear over the final 6:21 to defeat JFK by the final score of 62-50. Senior guard, Roger Kilgore led the way with 17 points including 15 in the second half while senior forward, Dillon Salva chipped in with 16 points including 10 in the second half. Kenny Virden scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half to keep the Trojans within striking distance. Daniel Timi added 7 points.
For Kennedy, Steve Alvarez knocked in 19 points including three treys. Two of those threes came in the early fourth quarter to turn a 48-41 Ahr lead to just a one point game with less than seven minutes to play. Vik Pawar chipped in with 14 points including a three while Josh Kamenas added 9 points. Shabas Clarke also contributed with 6 points. Both teams had the same number of two point field goals (17) and three pointers (5), but BGA came away with the victory thanks to a 13-1 advantage in points scored from the foul line.
Kennedy didn't attempt a free throw until the fourth quarter. Ahr actually only had one player go to the line in the entire first half, and went 3 of 5 in the first 16 minutes of play. These two teams, which are no strangers to each other, especially after last season when they played on three occasions including the quarterfinal round of the 2011 GMCT, exchanged runs in the first period. The Trojans scored the first four points of the game before the Mustangs responded with a 14-0 tear. Bishop Ahr then ended the first period with a 12-2 spurt that included a bucket by Virden to end the frame in a 16-16 tie.
Ahr took the upper hand early in the second only to have JFK surge to a 13-10 quarer advantage, and a 29-26 halftime lead. In a fast paced half, the Mustangs were able to keep up with the Trojans. Kennedy took advantage of Ahr's inability to get back on defense after scores and long rebounds off missed threes with some transition buckets while also double and triple teaming Salva on their own defensive end, and making life miserable for the standout football and hoops player at Ahr. The Trojans had fewer turnovers than the Mustangs (6-8), but the Iselin school had more balanced scoring.
In a game that had 9 lead changes and 3 ties, Ahr opened the second half with a 7-2 run including a three pointer by Kilgore for a 33-31 lead. Kennedy would tie the game on a score by Alvarez with 4:30 to go in the period. The two teams swapped leads several more times before BGA scored five unanswered points including a jumper by Salva prior to a Mustang timeout late in the third for a 43-39 lead. Ahr's offense was opening up and everyone was getting involved by this point in the contest. Kilgore then added a pair from the charity stripe and Timi made one of two for a 46-39 lead before JFK got a basket to end the period with the Trojans up by five, 46-41.
After Ahr began the final period with a basket, Alvarez struck back with a three at the 6:45 mark, and another trey from the left wing at the 6:21 mark to narrow the deficit to one again at 48-47. Kilgore would score on a layup to make it 50-47, but Kamenas countered with a a basket to make it a one point game again. Kennedy was unable to tie or take the lead though as the Trojans got a jumper from Kilgore, and then a pair of free throws by Kevin Douyan after he swiped a steal, and drew a foul on a 3-on-1 fast break with 2:30 left. At one point in the fourth, Ahr made five straight foul shots, and then got a layup by Timi, and a dunk by Salva to wrap up the victory.
With the win, Ahr improved to 3-4 overall including a 3-0 mark in the GMC Blue. Meanwhile, Kennedy dropped to 1-6 on the season overall including a 0-4 record in divisional play.
Bishop Ahr (3-4)
J.F. Kennedy (1-6)
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