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Truog and Cumpstone shine for Kenston

Senior forward Eric Truog scored 27 points and collected 10 rebounds, while senior wing Pierce Cumpstone scored 20 for the Bombers (8-0) in their win over the Bruins (3-5) in the first game of the classic.

The Bombers connected on 31 of 48 shots from the field, and were 6-of-12 from long range. The 79 points was one of the highest totals Kenston coach Josh Jakacki could remember during his tenure and came about 12 hours after the Bombers earned a three-point victory over West Geauga Saturday night.

"I don't care that we gave up 66, I'm just happy to see something higher than 50 for us on the board offensively," Jakacki said. "I was very, very happy with the way the kids executed and the energy they still brought coming back from a game, a tough, tough CVC game."

Despite missing several games with a broken finger earlier in the year, Cumpstone was a catalyst. He drilled three second-quarter 3-pointers, which broke a 19-19 tie and allowed the Bombers to build their lead to as much as 11 points before halftime.

"We just lost him for two possessions and then, he hit those two big ones that put the lead up to 11," Padua coach Pat Teresi said of Cumpstone. "He's a Division I recruit and good players like that find a way to get open. They get themselves open by working hard."

Cumpstone knocked down all three treys from the right wing.

"Once I make one shot, our coaches make plays to get me open shots," Cumpstone said. "If I have a couple seconds to get a shot off, I'm going to take it."

Cumpstone produced a pair of third-quarter 3-pointers, the last of which gave the Bombers a 14-point advantage.

"He's a special shooter," Jakacki said. "I'm really jealous because I'm not going to see his best basketball. When he's a college player, he's going to be one heck of a player. He's a special player and we're happy to have him in a Bomber uniform."

Matt Florjancic is a free-lance writer based in Broadview Heights.

Height and Shooters of Kenston too much for Padua to handle

The tallest starter for the Kenston Bombers is Senior Eric Truog, who stands at 6'10". The Padua Bruins' tallest starter is 6'4" Junior Chris Link.

The height advantage was a problem underneath all day for the Bruins, who fell to the Bombers, 79-66 on Sunday, playing in the initial game of the Scholastic Play-by-Play Classic hosted inside Ursprung Gymnasium at Baldwin-Wallace College.

Truog, a Marist recruit, scored a game high 27 points for the Bombers, most coming right under the basket. The Senior also grabbed six rebounds for Kenston.

The game was tight early on, as the Bruins used a 12-4 run to give them a narrow 16-15 lead after the first eight minutes of action.

Kenston came out of the gates firing to start the 2nd quarter, with Senior Forward Pierce Cumpstone knocked down two three pointers, in combination with a Truog put-back forced a Padua timeout with the Bombers ahead, 28-21 less than four minutes into the quarter. Cumpstone sank another from long range, and Truog added four more points and Kenston had a 37-28 advantage at halftime.

"We let Cumpstone get loose for a couple looks," said Padua Head Coach Pat Teresi, whose team was coming off a 108-85 loss to Lake Catholic on Friday night. "We didn't get a hand in his face. We lost where he was a couple times."

Padua kept fighting and clawing the entire 3rd quarter, keeping the Bomber lead within single digits nearly the entire eight minutes.

"Our kids fight. I give them a lot of credit, they keep battling and battling and battling," said Teresi. "That's just how these guys are and that's all I can ask of them."

The three pointer was key for Kenston, as two more by Cumpstone and one by Senior Cody Shell kept the Bombers ahead, 58-47 after three quarters.

Truog came through huge for Kenston in the final frame, as he scored eight points in addition to swatting a Bruin shot. Junior Guard Daryll Richards scored six of his 16 points in the 4th as well.

Padua Junior Tyler Ptacek, who is averaging close to 28 points per contest this season, had connected three times from 3-point range and had 20 points entering the 4th, did not score in the final eight minutes and eventually fouled out with just over a minute left. Baumer scored 6 of his 13 in the 4th to help keep it close, but the Bombers prevailed, 79-66.

Cumpstone finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds and garnered Team MVP Honors for the game.

"He's going Division I for a reason," said Teresi. "We lost him a couple times and that hurt us. He got that lead from 4 or 5 points to 10 or 12."

Link, who ended the game with 24 points and 5 rebounds, was named Team MVP for the Bruins.

Padua falls to 3-6 on the year, and faces a tough North Coast League contest with Archbishop Hoban inside Padua Gymnasium on Tuesday January 10th.

"We need to defend, they're a pretty talented team," said Teresi. "Hoban's going to come after us. They're pretty tough kids.

"We just need to keep playing hard. All the league games start up now, and it's a battle every night. Nobody in our conference from top to bottom is not good."

To reach this reporter, email at teh_tribe@cox.net