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PA. DISTRICT 10 BOYS Strong second quarter sends Kennedy to final

By Bill Albright

Saturday, February 28, 2004

The Eagles posted a 42-35 win over Jamestown to advance.
FARRELL, Pa. -- If you combine the first, third and fourth quarters of Tuesday's District 10 Class A boys basketball matchup between Kennedy Catholic and Jamestown, the Muskies outscored the Golden Eagles 26-24.
However, during the second period, Kennedy played one of its best quarters during the second half of the season as it outscored the Muskies 18-9 for a 42-35 win.
Kennedy (22-4) next will meet Commodore Perry in the district final. The Panthers upset West Middlesex 64-57 in the second game of the doubleheader.
"I think they [Jamestown] are a pretty decent ball club," Kennedy coach Tim Loomis said. "As for this game, it is just another one of those seven you have to win to get to the state final.
"Being a district champion or runner-up is important as to where you are seeded in the state tournament, but each night it is just a different team that you have to face," Loomis said.
Defense sparks rally
As for the big second period, Loomis agreed that it was due to the defense creating offense as the Eagles picked up the intensity on the defensive end of the floor.
"That is absolutely what happened and I was very happy with the way we played in the second quarter," Loomis said. "I thought we had the game under control all the way, but instead of us extending the lead, we left them right back into the game.
"That is a pattern for us right now, which isn't real good," Loomis said. "We are just not kicking those 10-, 11-point leads up to the 15-20 range."
Sharron Summerville, who fouled out with more than six minutes left in the game, tied Blair Rozenblad and David Jackson for game scoring honors with 10 points apiece.
Down the stretch, it was Jackson who stepped up and took control as he converted a conventional 3-point play while adding another free throw and three rebounds during the final minutes.
"I just try to always play hard and I still didn't play the way I thought I should have played," Jackson said. "I played a little soft, but I am glad that we were able to get the win."
Learning experience
Jackson agreed with his coach that the Eagles simply have to learn to put teams away when they have the opportunity.
"That is one thing we have to work on. We have to work hard on finishing games," the Kennedy sophomore said. "We should be able to push 10-point leads up to 20-point leads, but instead of that happening, they [the leads] are going down.
"We have to work on finishing out games because the further we go [in the playoffs], that is going to be important," Jackson said.