Published in the News-Herald
Janurary 6, 2008
Eddie Dweyer [News-Herald Reporter]
Kenston’s multitalented guard John Behm said some of the Bombers’ seniors took it upon themselves to get the message across after Saturday night’s dismal first quarter.
'We’ve been in a little bit of a skid, and it seems like we start off slow,” Behm said. “But some of the seniors got the guys together and said, ‘Is this how we want to go out? Is this how we want to be remembered? Guys, we’ve got to go right now.’”
Message heard – loud and clear.
The Bombers, who trailed Chagrin Falls by nine points after throwing the ball around and managing just two baskets in the first eight minutes, came on strong in the second quarter and went on to secure a 41-33 victory at Kenston.
In improving to 7-3 overall and 4-1 in the Chagrin Valley Conference’s Chagrin Division, the Bombers outscored their long-time rivals, 18-5, in the second stanza.
“Everyone knows the Kenston-Chagrin rivalry,” said Behm, whose solid all-around performance included 11 points, 11 rebounds, and eight steals. “And I seriously think that’s what got us fired up.”
Sparked by baskets from senior post Cory Barton and Behm, a 6-1 senior, the Bombers got their offense on track early in the second quarter.
After a power move down low by Barton, a steal and a 3-pointer by Behm, a steal and a layup by senior guard Mike Tobe and a layup by junior Scott Cardwell off an assist from Barton, Kenston had its first lead of the night, 17-15, with 3 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the first half.
Chagrin Falls, which slipped to 6-5 overall and 2-3 in the Chagrin Division, responded with a 3-pointer by senior guard Spencer Stevenson.
However, with their seniors leading the way, the Bombers rode two free throws by Tobe, a driving one-hander by Behm and a free-throw by 6-7 post Chris Meyer to a 22-18 halftime lead.
“The kids are focused in the locker room, but they’re not bringing that focus out into the initial stages of the first half,” said Kenston coach Josh Jakacki. “And obviously we’re digging ourselves a hole.”
“Fortunately, early on in the season we’ve been able to dig out of those holes. But we’ve got to bring a more consistent effort and understand that at tipoff, we’ve got to be ready to play. If we put four quarters together, we’re going to be a pretty good team. Right now, we’re playing at about 65 percent of the game.”
The Bombers kept digging for their game over the final 16 minutes and finally found some breathing room by moving to a 12-point lead with 1:06 remaining to be played, a spread, Behm said, that was the result of a smothering defense.
The clinching points came off two free throws by junior guard Cal Cumpstone, a three-point play by Barton and a layup in transition by Behm.
“We just couldn’t find a way to put the ball in the basket,” said Tigers coach Dave Bargar. “We had easy opportunities, and we missed them. And when you leave those points out there in a game like this, when not a lot of points wins it, you don’t have much room for error.”