By: Ross Laorenza
Pembroke Academy looked impressive Saturday night as they held Kennett to a total of 22 points on their way to a 44-22 victory. The game was close in the first quarter. Thomas Loynd drilled a three pointer for the Eagles giving them and early 3-1 lead. Captain Dominic Timbas tied it up on the ensuing possession. Nick Graziano put Kennett ahead 5-3, but that would be the last lead the Eagles would enjoy.
With 3:30 remaining in the first Max Curran knocked down a three putting Pembroke ahead 6-5. Connor Boucher added a basket to give Pembroke Academy an 8-5 lead after the first quarter.
Ryan Vajentic stole a pass on the perimeter and drove down the floor for the score to put Kennett within one and then Kafani Williams took over. Williams combined with Captain Pat Welch for 13 straight points. Welch drilled back-to-back threes to cap the run putting Pembroke ahead 21-7. Thomas Loynd and Max Curran traded three pointers before the half came to a close. At the midway point Pembroke Academy held a 24-12 edge. Kafani Williams and Max Curran led all first half scorers with 7 points. Welch and Loynd followed with 6 points.
Pembroke opened the second half on a 10-2 run. Eight of the ten points were scored by Dominic Timbas. It was interesting to see the differences in both offenses. Kennett would maintain possession for minutes at a time waiting to get the right shot. Pembroke, who still had great ball movement, seemed to find their shots faster and with greater accuracy.
Kafani Williams scored again with under two minutes in the quarter. After two free throws from Nick Graziano, Connor Boucher knocked down a shot that was initially ruled a three pointer but was changed to a two. At the end of the third quarter Pembroke Academy leads 38-16.
Time was not on the side of the Kennett Eagles and the fourth quarter seemed like a giant game of keep away. Both teams held the ball for long stretches and Pembroke’s defense clamped down knowing a victory was just minutes away. The Eagles didn’t give, but were forced to take off balance shots from beyond the arch to try and make up the deficit. Pat Welch capped the scoring for the Spartans and then dribbled out the clock to end the game. Final score, Pembroke Academy: 44, Kennett: 22.
Kafani Williams finished with 11 points. Pat Welch finished with 8. Dominic Timbas had a huge second half, scoring 10 of his 12 points to lead his team. Pembroke will play the winner of the Bishop Brady/Pelham game on Wednesday.
From Pembroke Academy. Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook.