Kennedy Wins Battle for Respect
Kennedy wasn’t one of the seeded teams in the Division II-A bracket despite having a 20-3 record. Friday night, the Fighting Irish played like they should have been, defeating Rosemead Bosco Tech 83-54 in a first-round game at Kennedy.
Kennedy’s front-line of Jeff Cummins and Patrick Kunz combined for 45 points as the Irish won their 21st consecutive game and advanced to the second round at Pomona Garey Tuesday night.
Kennedy (24-3) trailed 11-4 midway through the opening quarter but outscored the Tigers (13-11) 18-2 to take a 22-13 lead after one quarter. Cummins and Kunz, co-MVPs of the Garden Grove League, scored 10 points apiece in the quarter as the Irish’s pressing defense proved effective.
Bosco Tech, an at-large entrant from the Del Ray League, was limited to seven points in the second quarter and trailed 60-34 at halftime.
“We were stale at the beginning,” Kennedy Coach John Mayberry pointed out. “Not playing for a week made us a little rusty, but we regained our intensity when we needed to.”
When the Tigers altered their defense, Irish guard Paul Pappas stepped up. The senior promptly connected on three consecutive three-point baskets to help the Irish pull away in he second quarter. Pappas finished with 18 points, including five three-pointers.
“You can’t leave him (Pappas) alone,” Mayberry noted. “Teams have tried to focus on the big guys, forget about Paul and he burns them.”
Daniel Farinella led the Bosco Tech offensive attack with 18 points, including four three-point baskets. Fabian Lopez added 10 points.
Cummins led all scorers with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Kunz scored 21 and had nine rebounds.