Published in The News-Herald
December 7, 2019
After the first half of the Western Reserve Conference opener between Madison and visiting Kenston on Dec. 6 played to a 32-32 stalemate, momentum changed in a big way in the second half.
Separate scoring runs of 9-0 and 14-0 served to put the Bombers in front for good, and they went on to knock off the previously unbeaten Blue Streaks, 72-58.
A trio of Bombers scored in double figures, led by junior Ethan Thorne’s 19 points. Sophomore Nick Cowoski added 18, including a 10-for-10 showing from the foul line, and fellow sophomore Andy Kooser contributed 11.
The loss overshadowed an outstanding game by Madison senior Chris Blauman, who scored a game-high 33 points, with eight rebounds. He connected on six 3-pointers and an array of mid-range jumpers and layups.
“Intensity,” Thorne said, regarding the difference between the two halves. “Intensity was the big difference. Defense, we stepped up. Shooters stepped up. It was a team win tonight.”
A triple by Kooser gave Kenston its first lead of the contest at 38-37 with 2:48 left in the third quarter, and a 3 by Cowoski during the run helped extend it.
Taking a 47-43 lead into the fourth quarter, the Bombers scored the first 14 points of that frame to take control. Kenston (1-1) forced turnovers or held the Blue Streaks to one shot attempt at the defensive end and used good ball movement to get to the basket or create open shots at the offensive end during its runs.
“We just played together and fought real hard,” Kenston coach Derrick DeJarnette said in regard to his squad seizing control of the game in the second half. “I trust guys coming off the bench. It’s kind of like a new team, and I trust all the guys (when) it’s time to fight.”
Blauman was virtually unstoppable in the early going and scored 16 of Madison’s 18 in the first quarter. He had 20 at halftime and added 13 more after the break, but the rest of the Blue Streaks combined for 25.
“He is a good player, and he got hot,” DeJarnette said of Blauman. “I can live with one guy getting 30 and holding everyone else down.”
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