We came into this season thinking we had the chance to be pretty good. Ouachita Christian is the No. 1 seed for a reason. I think we’re excited about the challenge.” David Currier, Kentwood coach
Istrouma didn’t need much help in disposing of McKinley 76-45 in Monday night basketball action at McKinley, but the host Panthers gave the Indians more help than they would have liked.
Playing without two starters, including leading scorer Kendrick Cannon, who were out with a stomach bug, losing starter Lanard Daniels in the first quarter after he was tagged with a flagrant foul, committing eight turnovers in the first quarter, and shooting 10-21 from the free throw line doomed McKinley to a long night and a 31-point loss.
McKinley (1-2) had no answer for Istrouma’s inside force of the Kaigler brothers, 6-8 Carvis and 6-7 Marquise. The two combined for 27 points, 15 from Curtis and 12 from Marquise, and controlled the backboards on both ends.
“We try to play off our bigs,” Istrouma coach Aaron Pearson said. “We try to take it inside and just go from there.
“Carvis is averaging about 16 points a game and Marquise around 10 points and about nine rebounds a game.
“We think we have pretty good guards, too. Tavin Walker is a three-point shooter, and Devin Bethany is a good shooter at point guard.”
Walker had five 3-pointers on the night, including a 45-footer at the buzzer to end the first half, and three more in the third quarter when the Istrouma (4-1) used a 19-8 advantage to put the game away.
“We went to Shreveport (for a tournament), and I guess being close together we just passed the virus around among ourselves,” McKinley coach T.J Pugh said. “But Istrouma was better tonight. They’re big, they shot it well and they played good defense. Like I told the kids, I don’t think they’re 30 points better than us, but they outplayed us on both ends of the floor.
“We’ll watch tape tomorrow, get ready for the Glen Oaks tournament on Thursday, and I’m hoping we’ll be back to full strength in a week or so.”
The first quarter was all Kaigler as the two juniors combined for 10 points, shooting follow shots almost at will against the smaller Panthers as the Indians took a 17-8 lead.
McKinley warmed up in the second quarter behind the shooting of freshman Russell Daniels to score 16 points but still trailed 38-24 at halftime.
“We had too many turnovers in the second quarter-I think we had nine for the first half,” Pearson said. “At halftime, we said we needed to cut down on the turnovers and control the ball better.”
His team was able to do just that, and behind three 3s by Walker it was able to stretch the lead to 57-32 at the end of the third quarter.
Delwin Rodney led the Panthers with 10 points and Russell finished with nine.