DUBLIN – Junior Jace McKenney poured in 29 points Friday night to lead South Brunswick to an 82-48 boys basketball victory over West Bladen in the third-place game of the Woodmen Life Christmas Tournament.
McKenney bombed in a 3-pointer to start the game, and teammate Kareem Randolph turned a steal into a dunk and a 7-0 Cougar lead.
Senior Scott Bowen drilled in a 3-point shot, and freshman Shyron Adams drained a 3-pointer to pull West within 7-6. Another McKenney 3-ball and a pair of baskets by Andrew Mosley pushed the South lead to 14-6.
Back came the Knights as senior Jimmy Williams scooped in a lay-up that resulted in a 3-point play. Junior Keshawn Lewis stole the ball and pitched ahead to Bowen for a lay-up. Bowen then stole the ball and dashed for another lay-up that pulled West to within 14-13 at the quarter break.
McKenney threw in another 3-ball to start the second period. Sophmore Tyre Boykin spun to the basket for a Knight lay-up, and Williams buried a 3-point shot that put West Bladen on top 18-17.
McKenney drove for a 3-point play, but Lewis’ fired in a 3-pointer that kept West within 22-21. McKenney pumped in 9 more points to spark a 23-5 Cougar run that closed the half.
Eight points from McKenney keyed a 19-4 Cougar run that began the second half. Knight senior Gerardo Reyes knocked down a 3-pointer to halt the run, and Lewis popped in a 14-footer.
Knight senior Jonathan Robinson muscled in a rebound and hit two free throws to trim the margin to 70-39. South led 75-39 at the quarter break.
Reyes connected on another 3-point shot to start the final period. Robinson dropped in a follow shot, Boykin tapped in a rebound and junior Kerron Baldwin-Washington turned a steal into a lay-up that sliced the deficit to 78-48.
“We ran into a buzz-saw tonight,” said Knight Coach Travis Pait. “We didn’t play bad. We competed and our defense was excellent, but they made shots. Their size bothered us.”
Bowen led the Knight scoring with 13 points before going out with an ankle injury in the second half. Williams, Reyes and Robinson finished with 6 points each. Robinson grabbed a team-high 6 rebounds, and Adams was credited with 4 steals.
Randolph finished with 14 points for the Cougars, and teammate A. J. Rossi had 11 points.
The Knights return to Three Rivers Conference play Tuesday night at St. Pauls.
WEST BLADEN (48) – Drew Harris 2, Jaheim Lesane, Kerron Baldwin-Washington 2, Jimmy Williams 6, Keshawn Lewis 5, Eddie Perez-Ortiz, Scott Bowen 13, Tyre Boykin 5, Shyron Adams 3, Trashawn Ballard, Gerardo Reyes 6, Kristaun Baldwin, Jackson Norris, Trenton Lyons, Jonathan Robinson 6.