Kennedy splits league games against Gervais, Santiam
The Kennedy boys basketball team tread water in the increasingly difficult Tri-River Conference last week, splitting a pair of games against the Gervais Cougars and Santiam Wolverines.
Kennedy (7-6, 3-2 Tri-River Conference) opened the week with a 72-41 victory over the Cougars, before falling 51-47 to Santiam on Thursday, dropping the Trojans two games behind the top-three teams in the league in the loss column.
In the opening game of the week between the Trojans and Cougars on Tuesday, Jan. 7, Kennedy took care of business in short order, jumping out to a 22-9 advantage after the opening quarter.
Without leading scorer Alex Kalugin, along with fellow starter Michael Toran, due to personal reasons, the Cougars had little answer for the potent Kennedy offense.
Senior Daniel Hernandez did his best to stem the tide, scoring 11 of his team-high 14 points in the first half, but the Trojans roared to a 47-20 lead at halftime behind 10 second-quarter points from senior Luke Hall.
The Kennedy guard continued his onslaught in the third quarter, pouring in nine more points to finish with a game-high 25, including three triples.
Riley Cantu added 14 points for the Trojans, while Brady Traeger chipped in nine.
Gervais junior Auggie Guido added 11 points for the Cougars, while freshman guard Juan Esquivel came off the bench to go 4-for-4 in the second half, finishing with nine points.
Kennedy's follow-up game against Santiam on Thursday went the opposite. Led by 21 points from Chaz Storm, the Wolverines jumped out to a 19-11 lead after the opening quarter.
The Trojans clawed their way back, cutting the deficit to 33-32 entering the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines closed the door to hand Kennedy its second league loss of the season.
Hall again scored 25 for Kennedy, followed by 16 from Cantu.
No. 8 Santiam (10-2, 3-0 Tri-River) remains one of three Tri-River teams yet to lose a conference game this season, joining Sheridan (10-2, 4-0) and defending state champion and No. 3 Western Christian (9-3).
Gervais closed out its week at Sheridan on Thursday, falling 65-34 to the Spartans.
Hernandez and Toran co-led the team with eight points in the loss. Gervais (4-9, 1-3) was scheduled to travel to Colton (0-10, 0-3) on Tuesday, followed by back-to-back home games against Western Christian on Thursday and Chemawa (1-7, 1-4) on Friday.
Kennedy was scheduled to host Delphian (3-5, 1-2) on Monday, followed by a road game at Chemawa on Thursday to end the week.
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