It’s playoff time and “ugly” wins are still wins. That was the case for the KVHS varsity boys basketball team tonight in Sussex as they faced elimination.
With only four active players available due to public health protocols, the boys in blue, with help of three JV players filling in as emergency call-ups, pulled out the 81-55 victory. The win secures the #2 seed in the Southern Conference for the Crusaders who will move on to play in the south-west regional in Fredericton later this week.
The Crusaders looked good to start the game, jumping out to a quick 12 point lead. But then the players started to show the rust that accumulated while in isolation. They were missed layups, committed lazy fouls and had too many live ball turnovers. Fortunately the home town Sonics were dealing with their own Covid related issues, making them equally as rusty and understaffed. The Crusaders won the quarter 20-14 but Sussex closed the quarter on a nice 6-0 run to regain all the momentum.
The start of the 2nd quarter could have been bad for KVHS as they just could not find any rhythm on offense, struggled to finish at the rim and were lacking a hot shooter to pull Sussex out of their collapsing man-to-man defense. But as has been the case most of the season, they were able to weather the storm with some timely steals and solid rebounding. In the later part of the quarter both teams were able to loosen up a little bit, drawing even for the quarter as KVHS held onto their six point lead, 42-36 at the half.
KVHS was able to add a little breathing room in the third quarter but it came at a cost. The Crusaders’ leader scorer, Cole Defazio, and starting point guard, Nick Hersey, were both dealing with foul trouble. The toll of not playing or not being able to train for over a week, plus a very short bench, was starting to show on all the players from both sides. The visitors took the quarter 16-11 to increase lead to 58-47 after 30 minutes.
The 4th quarter was much the same as the 3rd with both teams looking tired. Brody Black and Keatin Deveau kept the Sonics close for most of the quarter, refusing to go down without a fight, but a couple of KVHS three pointers and fast break layups sealed the 81-55 victory for the Crusaders.
Leaders for KVHS were:
- Cole Defazio with 24 points
- Cohen Fisher with 16 points
- Nick Hersey with 18 points
Leaders for Sussex were:
- Brody Black with 20 points
- Keatin Deveau with 20 points
KVHS Player of the Game
Cohen Fisher, who was coming out of 10 days of isolation due to public health protocols, showed he is ready to take on a bigger role heading into playoffs. As the team’s only forward dressed for this game, Cohen controlled the defensive glass while contributing 16 points of his own. Several from offensive rebounds.
KVHS will now try to regroup to get ready for an extremely tough south-west regional semi-final match-up against Fredericton High Black Kats. The game time is Friday February 25 at FHS. Game time TBD.