Kennedy, Calvert roll past Lakers

PHOTOS BY STEVE WILLIAMS Calvert’s Quinton Taylor (33) tracks down a loose ball as teammate J.J. Dull looks on. Danbury’s Noah Calton (4), Noah Stys (24), Brad Pruitt (21) and Justin Tibbels prepare to defend.

Calvert’s offense was struggling at the outset of its game against Danbury Tuesday.

The Senecas started just 2 of 15 shooting, and trailed the Lakers 13-9 at the first stop.

But then some ball movement, and a red-hot Connor Kennedy, changed the fortunes for Calvert.

Kennedy made his first three field goal attempts of the second quarter, and scored the Senecas first eight points. They went on to dominate the second and third quarters, and left Danbury behind, 56-37.

Kennedy finished with 16 points and nine rebounds in the win, which were both team highs. He said his teammates helped to get him open.

From there, things got easier.

“Getting the ball inside, good ball-movement, getting wide open shots,” said Kennedy when asked what led to the outburst. “It’s a lot easier to hit a wide-open shot than a contested shot.”

Kennedy made four 3-pointers in the game, six baskets overall. As he heated up, so did the Senecas, who outscored the Lakers 19-11 in the second and then 21-2 in the third.

“We did a better job in the second quarter of getting ball reversals and getting the ball in the corner,” Calvert coach Jon Otterbacher said. “Connor likes to hit that 3 in the corner; he likes to get camped in there, and when he’s on, it’s going in.”

Josh Recker had 10 points, with Nick Seifert and Park Hemminger contributing nine points each.

Seifert did his damage from deep, making three 3s.

One proved key.

At the end of the first half, Danbury trailed just 25-24, and had the ball. At worst, the Lakers would have gone to the half down a single point.

But the Senecas forced a turnover with 10 seconds left. Then — just before the buzzer — Seifert drained a 3 from the right wing to give Calvert a 28-24 lead.

“We got out of our half-court trap, it really wasn’t getting us any steals, or any good deflections or anything,” Otterbacher said. “We went to just a basic man, and every once in a while we would put a little trap in there, and I don’t think they were ready for it.”

The Danbury turnover was its eighth of the quarter. And starting the third, Calvert picked up right where it left off. It went 8 of 14 shooting, while the Lakers were just 1 of 11.

“They played good defense in the third quarter, we struggled to make any shots,” said Danbury coach Nate Keller. “I think we ran out of gas. Our team’s a little short-handed now; we’ve got two injuries, it’s not an excuse, but we’ve got a short bench.”

Calvert improved to 8-11. Its next game will be Friday, when it hosts Sandusky Bay Conference River Division rival Old Fort. While Calvert is out of contention for a league title, the Stockaders are right in the thick of things.

Danbury (4-14) was paced by Justin Murray’s 13 points and by Brad Pruitt, who had 10.