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Contenders can’t contain Indians

Hart cruises despite subpar effort

Posted: December 27, 2008 9:49 p.m.
Updated: December 28, 2008 4:56 a.m.
Before league play begins, basketball teams like to figure out rotations and sharpen their play.

They also like to get subpar performances out of their system.

Hart is hoping it did just that in a 66-30 victory over Faith Baptist of Canoga Park Saturday evening at the Hart Holiday Classic.

Though the score might reflect otherwise, the Indians (10-4) never really got on track against an undermanned Faith Baptist squad.

“The thing we’re going to take away from this game is we didn’t really come out and compete,” said Hart head coach Tom Kelly. “We didn’t play hard. We looked like we were just going through the motions, and good teams don’t do that.”

Patrick Abbott scored 17 points to pace Hart, although he was more aggressive in the first and fourth quarters in an effort to inspire his team.

“I just tried to give energy to the team by playing hard and playing good defense and attacking the basket,” he said.

Hart jumped out to a 19-3 lead after the first quarter, holding the Contenders to just 21 percent shooting in the first half. Faith Baptist’s offense, which mostly revolved around the individual abilities of Ronald James and Josue Damas, wasn’t potent enough to make any significant dent in the lead.

“(James) is a nice ball-handler who could get to the rim and score points, but our help was late,” Kelly said.

The Indians missed close shots that could have helped blow the game wide open, but instead took care of business on defense to put away the Contenders, who were missing several players due to vacation and academic ineligibility.

But Faith Baptist head coach Steve Parmelee still credits Hart for earning the win.

“Tom does a real good job with them every year, and they’re very well-disciplined,” he said. “We’re missing quite a few guys, and we really can’t do anything.”

The Hart reserves played for much of the game, and Faith Baptist did a good job of getting to the line against them in the third quarter, although the Contenders only hit five of their 11 free throws in the period.

Hart’s Joe Inemer scored 13 points, while Brad Wyche wound up with 12. During the two quarters in which the Hart starters played the bulk of their minutes, the Indians outscored Faith Baptist 40-7.

Still, this is one performance Kelly hopes his team has exorcised.

“If we come out like this against Golden Valley or any other team in our league, we’ll get blasted,” he said.


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