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Cavaliers achieve perfection yet again
KINGSTON It took awhile for the Kingston and Ridgetop girls basketball teams to get on the board.
But when the points started blinking on, in large red numbers, the Cavaliers offensive attack was swift and decisive. In less than three minutes, they were up comfortably 9-2. The visiting Raiders were overwhelmed.
It was easy to see early on that KJH would not, and possibly could not, be denied its second undefeated season.
At least thats the way coaches Tony Chisholm and Melody Ejde saw it.
I never had any doubt that we could do it, Chisholm said following his teams 56-31 win Thursday afternoon. We continued to be aggressive. This is the championship game, you lay it on the line.
They did just that, showing moves and putting together plays that made them 12-0 in 2004 as they headed up and down the court to the same mark for this year.
Even so, it wasnt all gravy.
Down 13-2 at the end of the first quarter, Ridgetop began showing signs of life in the second, driving to the hoop harder and taking chances that began to pay off. The gap closed to 20-11 before KJH began sewing things up. By halftime, they extended their lead to 29-13 and exhibited the poise of champions as they continued to maintain a double-digit lead into the third.
Theyre getting closer, commented KJH fan Shelia Carter, as she snapped shots under the hoop.
Not as close as Ridgetop would have liked. The Cavs continued their scrooge-like defense, giving up a shot here and there but not without first taking their opponents to task.
By the end of the third, Kingston was up 43-24. The points kept on pouring in off the hands of the Cavaliers, who were led by Riley Watts, Arissan Ugles and Erin Nicol.
Midway through the fourth, and leading 52-27, Chisholm could feel the win at hand.
Here we go! Here we go! he shouted to the players running the court.
When Watts was pulled for good, she left the floor to a round of well-deserved applause. She led the team with 19 points. Ugles added 10 and grabbed eight boards while Nicol, who scored nine, anchored the D on the court with two steals and three blocked shots. Aubin Duncan was also a force in the paint, grabbing eight boards and putting four points through the twine.
At 2:38, Chisholm called a time out.
I said, Weve got the game, lets finish it with some class, he explained after the win. Thats the type of team I had a lot of class.
As Kingston continued to roll, Tonya DeMoss give and go hoop under the basket with 1:36 on the clock gave the Cavs a commanding 54-31 lead, and Chisholm another reason to smile.
You see that? he asked fans behind him. That was nice.
With less than a minute, the 13-year coach was grinning from ear to ear.
Two years in a row, he remarked to no one in particular, savoring the statement by stretching the w for a few seconds.
The comment held true.
After the game Chisholm credited Watts, Nicol and Duncan for stepping up during the game and pointed out that the thought of the entire team enjoying the win kept him up the night before.
When asked if the repeat was more difficult this season than the first go round, Watts agreed with Chelsie Brann that the opposing teams seemed to have lost some of their intensity this year.
It was easier this season, Watts said.
Edje, a second-year coach at KJH, on the other hand, saw a different reason for the undefeated season.
I knew they could do it, coach Ejde said. Weve got a good bunch of girls. The girls were just awesome. They werent afraid to learn so they learned a lot of new things.
Kingston Junior High 56
Ridgetop Junior High 31
KJH Riley Watts, 19; Arissan Ugles, 10 (8 rebounds); Erin Nichol, 9 (3 steals, 2 blocks); Aubin Duncan, 4 (8 rebounds); Joi Niemeyer, 4; Tonya DeMoss, 4; Amber Hoak, 2; Chelsie Brann, 2; Kira Markey, 2; Kendal Peiguss (4 rebounds); Stephanie Eadie (4 rebounds); Jamie Heggenstaller (5 rebounds).