BURBANK — Nobody could seem to hit a shot from the field for the Renaissance Academy boys’ basketball team in the first quarter of Tuesday’s Burbank High Summer League game against Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies.
By the end of the game, the virtual opposite was true, as nearly everyone on the Wildcats’ roster chipped in some points to help the team pull away in the second half for a 59-36 win.
Nick Troplent led all scorers with 16 points and was one of three Wildcats to score in double-digits, as Jessy Cantinol contributed 15 and freshman Kevin Dinges came off the bench to add 10.
“I just wanted to get the intensity up, it was very low in the beginning of the game and we just wanted to pick it up,” said Dinges, who made his first five shots without a miss in a span bridging the second and third quarters. "[It’s important] to just finish out a game like we normally do, and that’s what we did.”
The Wildcats went one for 10 from the field to open the game, but were able to stay close by getting to the free-throw line and trailed, 11-8, by the end of the first quarter.
“I thought we were stagnant,” Wildcats Coach Sid Cooke said. “I think it was our 17th game in 20 days, so we need a break. We just need to rest a little bit, [but] we’re getting there.”
Jasper Hwang was the first to catch fire, scoring the first of his nine second-quarter points with a three-pointer to tie the game at 11 less than a minute in.
Hwang made another three to cap a 14-6 run and put Renaissance up, 25-17, with 4:15 left in the first half.
Dinges took the ball in the open floor and attacked the basket for a layup to put Renaissance up, 32-20, going into halftime.
He then scored while being fouled to open the third quarter and rebounded his own missed free throw to score another basket for a 14-point lead.
“He’s going to be a good player,” Cooke said of Dinges. “I think he’s going to be one of the better ones we’ve had here. He’s a real smart kid, and tough.”
Then the Wildcats kicked up the transition game with Troplent blocking a shot that went to Troy Fontanilla (five points), who found Cantinol up court for a layup. Cantinol then fired an outlet pass to Anthony Cost (seven points) on the run and he finished with a layup to put the Wildcats up by 17.
Troplent hit a step-back three-pointer to start the fourth quarter that put the game all but out of reach at 51-26.