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Knights sweep DH with Calvary

January 10, 2007|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

Grace Academy boys basketball coach John Basore insists that his team can go 10 players deep. But if it weren't for the senior duo of Zack Koontz and Jamie Heckman, depth would be the least of the Knights' problems.

Grace's big men came up with another big performance - Koontz leading the way in the first half, with Heckman finishing strong - as the Knights topped Calvary Christian 68-49 in the Mason Dixon Christian Conference.

Earlier in the evening, the Grace girls won their fifth straight game by beating Calvary, 42-34.

For the Grace boys, it was only the second time this season they posted consecutive wins. Koontz powered the Knights through the first two quarters with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Heckman scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Koontz led all scorers with 19 points and finished with a season-high 20 boards.

"I try to follow up the guards whenever they drive for layups," Koontz said. "I just try to get strong position and jump as high as I can to either get the rebound or draw a foul."

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Koontz also showcased some of his ball-handling skills, as well as his jump shot. He even drained a 3-pointer from the right baseline, but he raced to the hoop for the potential rebound, just in case.

"I try to stay away from (3s)," Koontz said. "I usually don't shoot them, but I was wide open, so I had to take it. It didn't look like it was going in, so I was going to be there for the offensive rebound."

Koontz stepped up after Heckman was taken out of the game in the first quarter because of foul trouble. Heckman scored the first four points for Grace, but picked up two fouls later in the period.

Despite losing Heckman for most of the first half, Grace still found itself ahead 25-20 at halftime. Nick Bunting, out of the starting lineup because of sickness, came off the bench and hit two 3s in the first half, while Zack Morgan added four points.

The Knights (6-6, 4-2) finally pulled away in the fourth quarter after getting the offensive burst from Heckman. He had just six points going into the final period, but exploded for six baskets over the last 7 1/2 minutes of the game. All 12 of Heckman's fourth-quarter points came off assists from his teammates as Grace outscored the Eagles, 28-14.

"Our defense picked up and we were able to get out and run," Basore said. "It's what we like to do because we have the big men that can outrun the defense.

"We have two of the bigger big men in the area that can run, and they both wanted to shoot the ball tonight."

Bunting finished with eight points and four assists for the Knights. Also off the bench, Chris Culp scored eight and Tim Salvagno had four assists. Tim Carver had three steals.

Jordan Peters and Logan Harden each had 18 points for Calvary (4-5, 2-4).

In the girls game, Grace used a 10-0 run in the third quarter to take control and defeat the winless Eagles. The Knights (8-2, 5-1) upped their defensive pressure to force nine turnovers and outscored Calvary 17-6 to take a 32-24 lead into the final period.

"I kind of gave it to them at halftime," said Grace coach Diana Serafini, whose team trailed 18-15 at the break. "It wasn't good basketball and we were getting lazy on defense. But we came out and played better, put the press on and got some turnovers."

In the third quarter, Megan Cox, Rebecca Morgan and Kelsey Shaffer made steals on consecutive possessions, converting them into seven points for a 25-20 Grace lead.

After the 10-0 spurt, Grace had a 15-2 run that spanned about seven minutes over the third and fourth quarters to extend the lead to 42-26. The Knights hit 12 of 28 shots in the second half after going 5-for-29 in the first half.

"The first half was like there was Saran Wrap on the basket," Serafini said. "The second half was much better, but in these last two games we just haven't shot the ball well."

Calvary (0-9, 0-6) scored the last eight points over the final two minutes to make it a single-digit margin.

Morgan led the Knights with 11 points, Cassie Johns had nine and Cox added eight. Kristin Serafini grabbed eight rebounds and Shaffer hauled in seven.

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