01/07/10 — Kenan downs Midway boys

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Kenan downs Midway boys

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 7, 2010 1:46 PM

WARSAW -- One quick run.

James Kenan tallied 10 points within an 80-second stretch in the opening quarter and rolled past Midway 69-53 on the Tri-County 1-A Conference boys' basketball scene Wednesday evening.

Three Tigers recorded double-doubles.

Jeremy Smith poured in a game-high 22 points and snagged 10 rebounds. James Owens Jr. supplied 21 points and 11 rebounds. Kendrick King delivered 10 points and 11 rebounds.

"We've been hot and cold, but came out and played good basketball (tonight)," said Kenan head coach John Avent. "I thought we did a good job, especially in the first quarter, of establishing ourselves. We got a few quick baskets."

Smith and Owens Jr. flourished in the transition game spearheaded by Kendric Faison and King. Faison and King combined for five first-quarter assists and three steals as the Tigers (5-3 overall, 3-1 Tri-C) rebounded from a double-digit loss 24 hours earlier against Pender.

Midway (2-9, 1-3) endured a six-minute scoring drought in the first period and faced a 19-point deficit after eight minutes. The Raiders pulled within 33-18 at halftime and closed the gap to 10 points in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer.

"I thought we did a good job keeping our composure and holding onto the lead," said Avent.

Smith and Owens Jr. combined for several open-court, thunderous dunks that delighted a sparse crowd inside J.P. Harmon Gymnasium. The twosome combined for 19 field goals, but converted just 3 of 11 free throw attempts.

The Tigers recorded 18 team assists on 30 field goals.

Alex McPhail led three Midway players in double figures with 13 points. Jordan Farthing added 11 points, while Kyle Knowles chipped in eight of his 10 points after halftime.

"We had two starters out tonight and guys stepped in to fill their spots," said Avent. "Team-wise, we did a great job. It was a physical game and we were able to maintain our composure with all that.

"We talked about that we wanted to have a chance for the conference championship, at least be in the thick of things and get a good seed for the playoffs. You've got to win every game and every game is big (in this league)."