Blue Devils Rout Bulldogs in Rivalry Matchup
On Friday night, the threes came early and often as the Kenmore West Blue Devils soundly defeated their crosstown rivals Kenmore East, 81-44.
The Devils, visiting the Bulldogs, came out strong and did not relent. Led by Tyler Aquilina, who put up 2 three pointers in the first quarter alone, the Devils surged to a 22-7 lead at the end of the first. Rather than get comfortable with their lead, however, the Devils stayed sharp and managed to put up 10 total three point shots through the entire game.
“In practice this week, we practiced shooting for an hour straight,” said Ken West head coach Mike Meetze. “Shooting has been a struggle for us recently, but our guys were feeling it tonight.”
The Devils took their lead into halftime at 47-22, and even managed to go on a 7-0 run to start the third. Kenmore West’s starters were benched before the end of the third quarter. Aquilina led the Devils in total scoring with 20 points, including 3 of his 4 free throw attempts. He was followed by Tal James with 14 and Kevin Carpenter with 8, both of whom shot two three pointers. Tyler White had an impressive block early in the first quarter that helped to set the tone for the game.
“The unity was had, it was impressive,” said Carpenter. “We did what we had to do to score. We had struggled to make threes before tonight, so this was a great improvement for us.”
On the other side, Kahlil O’Neil led the scoring for Kenmore East with 14 points, including 2 threes. Austin Petty, Kenmore East’s player of the game, chipped in 13 and some impressive rebounds… The other main offensive contributor was Konnor Flynn, who shot 2 three-pointers and scored 8 points. The Bulldogs fought hard until the end, however, playing physically until the final whistle. It was a good learning experience for the young team.
“We played hard, and we handled the ball well,” said Kenmore East head coach Jay Robbins after the game. “We passed the ball pretty well, much better than we had in previous games. But they shot lights out, and we didn’t have a response for that.” Despite West’s comfortable situation, they certainly did not let their foot off the gas pedal, with a 14-5 run to close out the game. The bench players for West played well, with Jack Stoerr hitting a clutch three-pointer late in third quarter. Every player who dressed for the Blue Devils managed to find the net.
The Devils don’t plan on staying complacent, either.
“We need to get better on defense, of course,” said Coach Meetze. “Their crowd was into it and made things hard for us, so we need to focus and pay more attention to the details.”
The win puts Kenmore West at 5-5 on the season, and the team is set to visit Niagara-Wheatfield on 1/10. With the loss, Kenmore East drops to 2-8 on the season. They host Grand Island on 1/10.
Submitted By: Joe Saeli