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The Trojans improve to 8-1 and 3-0 in league, Gervais Cougars fall to 2-9 on the season

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Kennedys Riley Cantu led the team in scoring in back to back league games against Gervais and Santiam.MOUNT ANGEL, Ore. — On Wednesday, Jan. 5, Kennedy cemented its place at the top of the Tri-River Conference, defeating Gervais 68-37.

The Trojans came into the contest against Gervais with fewer games than expected in 2021 due to inclement weather and the raging global pandemic, but not totally untested.

Kennedy overcame Waldport on Dec. 30, the team's first game in 10 days, by a margin of 57-44. Junior Brett Boen and senior Stephan Salinas led the way with 14 and 13 points apiece, respectively, and senior Riley Cantu chipped in 12 of his own.

Gervais meanwhile finished the first leg of the winter season 2-8 overall, participating in the Crusader Classic New Year's Invitational hosted by Salem Academy. The team went 1-2 at the invitational, earning its second win of the season over Sutherlin 44-37.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Gervaiss Juan Esquivel scored nine points against Kennedy in the two teams first matchup of the season.Wednesday's game was punctuated with dunks and high-flying lay-ups for the Trojans. Senior Riley Cantu led the way with a game-high 26 points, including 13 points in the third quarter. Junior Brett Boen was the next highest scoring member of the team, racking up nine points over the span of the game. All but three Trojans got on the scoreboard in the game.

Gervais, meanwhile, was led by sophomore Gotti Ramon with 12 points, and followed closely by junior Juan Esquivel with nine points. The game got away from the visiting Cougars towards the end of the first half and they were not able to pick back up. Kennedy outscored Gervais 32-15 in the second half.

The following day, Thursday, Jan. 6, Kennedy once again blew out its opponent, this time a shorthanded Santiam squad. Cantu led the team in scoring with 17 points, and once again Boen was second in scoring with 12 points. Senior Stephan Salinas had nine points, all of which came from beyond the arc.

Santiam on the night had six players total and was without its head coach on the sideline. The team's top scorer was junior guard Ezra Downey who had 22 points on the night.

Kennedy's next game is scheduled to be on Tuesday, Jan. 11 against Delphian on the road, after the paper goes to press.

Gervais (2-9) is scheduled to compete against Colton (3-7) on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

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