Published in The Geauga County Maple Leaf
March 7, 2018
The Kenston Bombers soundly defeated the University Preppers 73-65 on March 2.
The close final score doesn’t accurately reflect how much the Bombers dominated Universty in the first three quarters of the sectional final when the starters were in the game.
Kenston’s head coach Matt Vespa had this to say after the game: “You saw what we did tonight. We have the components (scoring, rebounding and defense) to make for a good team. We just needed to put it all together. And when Kee-Shaun does all the things he did tonight, we’re a better team.”
In fact, Kenston lead 61-35 after three quarters of play. The Bombers front court players — Ben Batista, Kee-Shaun Merrill and Ryan Kooser — dominated the undersized Preppers much like they did during the team’s previous match-up on Dec. 22 when Kenston won by 15 points.
Kenston’s five starters, Merrill, Kooser, Tyran Smith, Michael Swartz and Ben Batista, all made shots early to give Kenston a 20-9 early lead. Most of the damage was done by the Bombers’ big men.
The Bombers led 45-20 at halftime.
The Bombers continued to dominate play in the third quarter, effectively moving the ball, which resulted in every starter scoring during the quarter.
Kenston’s Jett Ransom makes a three-shot as time expires in the third quarter to give the Bombers a 29-point lead they would not relinquish.
Coach Vespa emptied his bench so the Bombers didn’t blow out University and also so his junior varsity players could get some valuable time in a tournament game.
Michael Swartz led Kenston with 15 points in the game.
“When we move the ball like we did tonight and get everyone involved, we’re tough to beat,” Swartz said. “We did play Cleveland Central Catholic early on. They overwhelmed us with their full court press. We’ll be better prepared for the pressure they bring this time. “
Kenston would go on to lose to No. 2 Cleveland Central Catholic, 83-63, on the road.
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