Just like that, the season is over.
Unfortunately for the KVHS Class of 2020, the varsity boy’s basketball team has played their last game of the 2019-2020 season, losing to Saint John High 58-54 in the opening round of the South-West regional tournament.
Heading into the South-West regional tournament, the Crusaders knew it would not be an easy first-round game against long time rival Saint John High. The two teams had faced each other four times during the season with the home team winning each contest. From the opening possession, it was apparent that neither team was going to concede this fifth and final matchup.
Both teams, comprised mostly of underclassmen, showed their nerves in the first quarter, going scoreless for nearly five minutes to open the game. Despite the slow start, it was the Crusaders who outplayed the Greyhounds in the early going, forcing Saint John High to call the first timeout with just under three minutes remaining in the 1st quarter with KVHS leading 9-7. Whatever was discussed in the timeout seemed to spark Saint John High, however, as they went on the 12-0 run to finish the opening quarter to lead the game 19-9.
The Greyhounds looked like they might be able to put the Crusaders in a deep hole as the second quarter began. Their big men were getting easy buckets at the rim with turn-around jumpers and offensive rebounds. But with about five minutes remaining in the half, Gavin Trites found his shooting touch plus the Crusaders were able to get some turnovers to score from their defense, closing the Greyhounds lead to single digits. The half ended with Saint John High leading KVHS 31-24.
The third quarter was much like the first. A slugfest with both teams struggling to find any offensive flow or rhythm. The Greyhounds struggled with turnovers while the Crusaders missed several layups and fouls shots. Saint John High, however, won the quarter by two points, increasing their lead to 44-35.
In the 4th quarter, the Crusaders were able to get back to playing more like themselves by getting out in transition off Greyhound misses and turnovers. With about five and half minutes remaining, the Crusaders went on an 11-0 run over a two-minute time span to take a 50-45 lead while forcing Saint John to call two timeouts to stop the momentum.
With three minutes remaining the Crusaders had the Greyhounds on the ropes as they forced yet another turnover. But the Saint John crew showed their resilience by forcing a 5-second violation on the ensuing inbounds which started a 7-1 run for the Greyhounds, including a three-point bomb by Ben Lambert to restore their lead at 52-51. A lead they would not relinquish again.
Leaders for KVHS were:
- Gavin Trites with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals
- Dallen MacDougall with 10 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 assists
Leaders for SJHS were:
- Ben Lambert with 23 points
- Cody Carr with 12 points
Class of 2020
With this loss, the Crusaders wrap up the 2019-2020 season. This means it is now time to say goodbye to three graduating seniors; Dallen MacDougall, Noah Ozkaynak, and Micah Wilson. Over the next few days, we will have a writeup highlight each of these incredible young men and the contributions they have made to KVHS Basketball during their time on the men’s varsity basketball team.
For now, here is a quick tease:
- Dallen MacDougall: A 6’2″ defensive maniac who never seems to get tired. Voted co-captain last two seasons. Finishes his career in the top 10 all-time in steals, blocked shots and rebounds. And 6th all-time in fouls committed!
- Noah Ozkaynak: In only his third year of organized basketball Noah has become a force on the low block often commanding double-teams. In three years he’s gone from barely seeing the floor for our JV team to this year’s starting center. The future is bright for this rising star.
- Micah Wilson: Micah is the ultimate “gym rat”. Whether it’s open gym, team practice, summer tournaments or just pick-up ball at the Rothesay Commons, Micah is there. And more often than not, the organizer. As everyone learns eventually, don’t leave him open.
Stay tuned. More to come.