MYRTLE BEACH — Bishop Loughlin (N.Y.) coach Edwin Gonzalez was well aware that Franklin (Ohio) junior Luke Kennard had scored 43 and 45 points in his past two Beach Ball Classic games dating back to last year.
He wasn’t going to let Kennard beat him Saturday night.
Kennard was double teamed nearly every time he touched the ball, and the Lions held him to 15 points in a 71-46 win over the Wildcats during the Beach Ball Classic at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
“Wherever he was, we had to know where he was,” said Gonzalez, whose team advanced to the semifinals. “We were going to keep everybody fresh on him and try to wear him down. He’s a very good player, very athletic and well-conditioned. We just wanted to get some bodies on him and whenever he was in the scoring zone anywhere on the floor pretty much just doubled him up.”
Lions senior and Seton Hall commitment Khadeen Carrington was called for two fouls in the first three minutes and didn’t play for the remainder of the half as he finished the frame with just two points. Carrington finished the game with 14 points in 14 minutes.
“He’s just unbelievable. He understands when he gets two fouls, we can’t risk it – I need him at the end of the game. I didn’t want him to pick up his third [foul], but his teammates rallied around him and picked him up,” Gonzalez said. “In the second half we wanted to get him back in motion because wherever he goes – we go.”
Jayvian De La Cruz poured in a game-high 21 points and grabbed five rebounds, Michael Williams finished with 11 points and Anthony Vernon chipped in six points and nine rebounds for Bishop Loughlin (5-1).
The Lions opened the second half on an 11-0 run to extend its lead to 48-28 with 12:40 left – and the Lions didn’t surrender their lead for the entire game.
Kennard shot the ball just six times in the first half as he scored 10 of his 15 points in the frame on 2-of-6 shooting. He finished 3-for-11 from the field in the game and 9-for-10 from the charity stripe.
The Lions held a big advantage inside the paint and on the boards. Bishop Loughlin outrebounded Franklin 37-22 and outscored the Wildcats 44-18 in the lane.
Franklin will attempt to rebound against Moeller (Ohio) as the two Ohio-based teams face off at 1:45 p.m. Monday.
Bishop Loughlin will battle Providence (Fla.) in the semifinals on Monday at 8:45 p.m.
• BISHOP LOUGHLIN (PTS) – Jayvian De La Cruz 21, Michael Williams 11, Khalik Howe 2, Khadeen Carrington 14, Anthony Vernon 6, Khalil Mohammed 2, Issak Bodon 5, Donovan Dunham 3, Keith Williams 4, Darius James 3
• FRANKLIN (PTS) – Austin Doliboa 6, Luke Kennard 15, Evan Crowe 16, Matt Thompson 5, Tyler Ross 4
• Halftime: Bishop Loughlin 37-28. 3-point goals: Bishop Loughlin 6 (De La Cruz 2, M. Williams 2, Bodon 1, Dunham 1); Franklin 2 (Crowe 2). Team fouls: Bishop Loughlin 16, Franklin 7. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: Bishop Loughlin 1 (Team).
• Records: Bishop Loughlin 5-1, Franklin 7-1.
Contact MAX MCKINNON at 626-0302.