Kellam’s Noah Singer sank a contested three-pointer late in the third quarter against Green Run in Friday’s boys basketball Beach district game to give the Knights their largest lead of the game at 40-31.
The shot, which capped an 8-0 run in a back-and-forth battle, ignited Kellam’s fans and quieted the home crowd. At a time when the trailing team would often call a timeout, Stallions coach Kenneth Harris let his boys play on.
He knew his players would respond, and they proved him right.
Green Run closed the final two minutes of the third quarter on an 11-0 run, taking a two-point lead into the fourth quarter en route to a 62-49 win.
“The way my kids are, they play through adversity and punch through when it gets tough,” Harris said. “When we get down, it doesn’t bother us and we don’t get our heads down. We just keep fighting, man.”
After being held to just 31 points through the first 22 minutes, the Stallions doubled that output in the final 10 minutes while holding the Knights to just nine in that span.
Senior center Sterling Carrington was the catalyst behind the Stallions’ third-quarter rally and fourth-quarter takeover. In the final minute of the third frame, he caused two inbound steals, one leading to a three-point play of his that tied the game at 40.
Up 51-47 with 2:30 left in the fourth, Carrington chased Singer the full length of the court for a monster block at the rim. That led to a Green Run transition that was capped by a Deshaun Wade alley-oop pass to Emonni Wood. The four-point swing was a back-breaker for the Knights, who couldn’t get any closer in the final minutes.
Carrington finished with game-highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds, adding two blocks and one steal.
“He’s our leader,” Harris said of his senior. “He’s been in these tight ball games. He knows what it takes to win and he doesn’t like to lose.”
Wood finished with 15 points and four rebounds, while Wade was held in check with eight points, six assists and two rebounds.
Kellam matched toughness and talent with Green Run all night until the game unraveled in the final two minutes.
Jalen Craig held his own in the paint while battling the tough twin-tower duo of Carrington and Wood. Craig finished with a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds and had two blocks. Singer added 10 points and five rebounds.
Guards Connor Campbell (seven points, five assist, two rebounds) and Chris Schulz (10 points, two rebounds, three assists) proved to be a pesky duo in the backcourt while limiting Wade offensively.
Harris was impressed by his group’s defensive intensity in the final 10 minutes. He switched to a smaller lineup that pressured Kellam’s guards into troubled offensive sets. The Stallions’ full-court press disrupted the Knights’ disciplined ball movement, cutting off passing lanes and creating turnovers that led to 12 points.
“We’re going to cause turnovers,” Harris said. “We’re going to press and get after it. We run the floor well, so we have to be able to finish. Tonight we did.”
The scrappy and chippy tug-of-war action made for an entertaining contest between the two Beach rivals, who unfortunately aren’t scheduled to meet again this season.