11/26/11 — Saints Thanksgiving Classic -- James Kenan falls to Pine Forest

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Saints Thanksgiving Classic -- James Kenan falls to Pine Forest

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 26, 2011 11:04 PM

DUDLEY -- Debut over.

Now let's play some basketball.

Diminutive point guard Alex Bradley scorched the nets for a game-high 29 points, and Pine Forest upended James Kenan 64-55 on day one of the 2011 Saints Thanksgiving Classic contested at Southern Wayne High School.

The loss spoiled Jeff Lane's first game as head coach on the Tigers' bench.

"We learned a lot about ourselves ... our deficiencies and our strengths," said Lane. "I was pleased. Overall, this was a building block and we need to use this as a measuring stick.

"I don't know if we're ever going to see a guard that good in our conference. We were having a time with that (kid)."

Bradley used an explosive first step to thwart James Kenan's trap at midcourt. He either slashed to the basket or dropped back outside for a 3-pointer in the Trojans' up-tempo scheme.

Listed as 5-foot-7 on the roster, Bradley buried just one 3, but connected on 10 shots from the floor and converted eight of nine attempts at the free throw line. His lone 3-pointer gave Pine Forest a 16-point advantage in the second quarter.

The Tigers (0-1) trailed by 17 after three quarters of play, but carved into the deficit in the final period. Mount Olive College signee Michael Moore and Jeremy Smith combined for 15 points during the fourth quarter as Kenan pulled within 11 points on three occasions.

"We had what they call back in the day a 'gut-check' time," said Lane. "They got tired, missed some free throws, made some turnovers and that all worked in our favor."

Moore led Kenan with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Smith contributed 22 points and eight rebounds. The Tigers owned a 15-rebound advantage on the glass.