By JOHN LIKANJE
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – In the first quarter, Kidtrell Blocker knocked down a three-pointer to give Bishop Kearney a 8-6 lead it would not relinquish. At that point, the junior forward had already netted eight points. Blocker went on to score 30 more as the Bishop Kearney Kings (7-11) held off Northstar Christian Tuesday night, 87-83.
“My team was looking for me and I was hot,” the junior forward said as the Kings handed the Northstar Christian Knights (16-1/No. 7 NYSSWA Class A) their first loss of the season. “I just knocked down open shots.”
In the middle of the fourth quarter, Blocked swished four shots from beyond the arc in the span of six possessions to extend the Kings’ lead to 76-64 with three and a half minutes remaining.
After the Northstar Christian Knights responded with an 11-3 run, the junior forward knocked down three free throws in the last 37.5 seconds of the game, including a pair with 3.2 ticks left to secure the win.
.@kidtrell_4 ices game with 2 FT’s with 3.2 seconds left as @KearneyBoys hands @NCA1972 1st loss of the season, 87-83. Blocker with 38 and Antwan Williams 20 points for the Kings. @milesballers had 36 for the Knights. @PickinSplinters @KGoode_BKKings @TrabsMatt @danfetes pic.twitter.com/Z3nEBsnSGv
— John Mitchell Likanje Junior (@jml5798) February 6, 2019
Blocker scored nine points in the third quarter on a trio of layups and a long-range shot as the Kings built a 58-45 lead going into the final period.
The 6 foot 4 netted the Kings’ first eight points of the game on a pair of layups, a three-pointer and a free throw. The junior forward finished with 10 points in the opening quarter as Kevin Goode’s squad surged out to a 22-12 edge.
“He’s been a consistent scorer for us,” Goode said about his junior forward. “Almost put into a position of the leadership role, still trying to learn that part of it.”
For the night, Blocker connected six shots from beyond the arc, six layups, two mid-range jumpers and went 4-of-6 from the foul line.
“He wants to win just as bad as I do,” Goode explained about Blocker’s performance. “He dictates how bad we win and if we win.”
Junior center Antwan Williams scored 10 points in the fourth quarter on a pair of layups, a three-pointer and made a trio of free throws in the remaining 48.3 seconds of the game.
“I think it’s clutch,” Williams said as he commented on his fourth quarter performance. ”
Williams finished with 20 points on five layups, including one for a three-point play, a shot from beyond the arc, and went 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.
“He’s still learning my style,” Goode said about his junior center’s growth this season. “He tends to go into a shell when you get on him, but I keep encouraging him and I keep pushing him because I keep telling him I’m not going to let him off easy because he’s already showed me what he can do.”
The Kings used key runs in the first and third quarters to help lock down the victory. Midway through the third period, Blocker sparked an 11-4 spurt with a pair of layups. Junior guard Michael Gentile hit a long-range shot, Antwan Williams made a layup, and senior guard Jamal Williams knocked down a fadeaway mid-range jumper for a 57-42 lead, the largest of the game. During the run, the Kings held the Knights to five missed field goals and three turnovers in 10 possessions.
“We executed our game plan,” Goode explained. “Like I told the kids, if we do what we supposed to do, the end result will be a victory.”
In the first quarter, junior forward Miles Monchecourt made a layup and a breakaway dunk as part of a 7-0 run to give the Kings an early 12-6 edge. Blocker knocked down a three-pointer. During the spurt, the Kings forced the Knights into five consecutive missed field goals.
“We got the ball to the open person so they can get some shots,” Goode explained on his squad’s fast start. “Keep them (Northstar Christian) to a lot of one-and-dones.”
— John Mitchell Likanje Junior (@jml5798) February 6, 2019
Monchecourt scored 14 points on six layups and a dunk.
Gentile (6), Jamal Williams (5) and Deiontray Dixon (4) rounded out the scoring for the Kings.
For Northstar Christian, senior forward Miles Brown swished a pair of free throws and converted a layup during an 11-4 run in the fourth quarter. Ryan Garwood and Sean Smith finished layups of their own and Michael Brown knocked down a three-pointer to close the gap to 79-75 with 1:15 remaining. During the run, the Knights held the Kings to three missed field goals and a turnover in five possessions.
Miles Brown also made a layup and two free throws as part of a 10-2 spurt to end the first half down 35-32. Garwood hit a pair of foul shots. Junior forward Tim Hinds knocked down two attempts from the charity stripe and a layup of his own. During the surge, the Knights forced the Kings into six missed field goals and a turnover in eight possessions.
Miles Brown, Section V’s all-time leading scorer, amassed 36 points on six layups-one which resulted in a three-point play, four shots from beyond the arc and went 10-of-12 from the free throw line.
The senior forward is now tied with former NBA veteran Sebastian Telfair for fourth place on the all-time New York State scoring list with 2,786 career points.
“Our goal was to make their best scorer, Miles Brown, uncomfortable,” Goode said as he explained his squad’s defensive game plan. “Get to him at the three-point line. Force him to drive to the basket and give a lot of help back side to frustrate him.”
Garwood scored 16 points. on four long-range shots, a layup, and a pair of foul shots. Smith contributed 14 points on a trio of three-pointers, a layup and 3-of-3 from the foul line.
Michael Brown (8), Hinds (4), Josh Pickett (3) and Josh Capolaretti (2) rounded out the scoring for the Knights.
Bishop Kearney will host Charles G. Finney next Tuesday night at 7:30 PM.