Win over Mendota puts Boiler basketball boys in TRAC East driver's seat

·3 min read

Kewanee boys basketball team picked up another TRAC East win Friday as they took down Mendota 64-50.

The Boilers entered the game off a loss to Newman Catholic Tuesday night which snapped their six game winning streak. Kewanee is 13-8 overall and will put its 6-1 conference record on the line Tuesday as they host Princeton at 7 p.m.

Kewanee's Niko Powe hauls in a rebound against Mendota.
Kewanee's Niko Powe hauls in a rebound against Mendota.

More: Subscriber photo gallery: Boiler basketball boys sitting atop TRAC East with Mendota win

Kewanee started quickly as they applied a half court trap to speed up the visiting Trojans. The Boilers would open up a double digit lead during the quarter with aggressive defense and transition offense. Kewanee was paced offensively by senior Will Bruno and sophomore Blaise Lewis who both had 5 points with included a 3 point make for each. The Boilers on the night would continue their improved three point shooting as they would connect on 9 total three pointers. At the end of the first Kewanee held a 19-11 lead.

The second quarter would again have a hot-shooting Boiler team use the three point line to stretch their lead. Bruno once again would connect from distance twice in the quarter on his was to 8 second quarter points. Sophomores Brady Clark and Blaise Lewis would also tally a three pointer in the quarter to help give the Boilers a 20 point quarter. Mendota would not go away though, led by junior Krew Bond who would score a game high 30 points, connecting on three 3 pointers of his own in the quarter. Kewanee would enter half time with a 39-27 lead.

KHS's James Conner swats away an attempted Mendota shot.
KHS's James Conner swats away an attempted Mendota shot.

Kewanee would use the half time break to make some adjustments and use their best scoring quarter of the night to put the game out of reach. The Boilers would apply more pressure defensively and use that to create transition opportunities on offense. Near the end of the third Kewanee would hold a 27 point lead that was aided by six Boilers in the quarters scoring column led by Brady Clark’s 8 quarter points, followed closely by senior Niko Powe and his 6 points. The Boilermakers displayed some tremendous passing on several assisted baskets in the quarter which ended with Kewanee leading 61-37.

The Boilers continued their all around team effort throughout the final quarter but couldn’t put up many more points. The lone Kewanee bucket came from junior James Campbell as he would connect on a three pointer in the closing minute of the game. The Boilermakers of Kewanee were led in scoring by Bruno and Clark who would each score 13 points. Niko Powe once again finished with double figures with 12. Powe has scored in double figures in 20 of the teams 21 games this season.

Kewanee's Brady Clark swipes the ball from a Mendota player to lead a fast break.
Kewanee's Brady Clark swipes the ball from a Mendota player to lead a fast break.

Kewanee would have nine players contribute in the scoring column, which included Blaise Lewis with 8, senior Brendon Lewis 5, senior James Conner 5, James Campbell 3 and seniors Jordan Johnson and Marquez Logan with 2 apiece.

Before the opening tip, the Kewanee High Student Council honored area soldiers on “Salute to America Night," which included presentation of the colors by the Kewanee Veterans Council. Friday night marked the 40th year that Kewanee High School has held the event, and a large crowd turned out for the festivities. Each person in attendance was given a slice of American flag cake.

This article originally appeared on Star Courier: Win over Mendota puts Boiler basketball boys in TRAC East driver's seat

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