Kenston back on winning track

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Kenston Boys Basketball

Things haven’t gone Kenston’s way in January but with a 57-39 win at Bedford on Tuesday the Bombers have some momentum heading into the stretch run of the season.

A two-week layoff for Christmas was followed by two losses and a couple of postponed games, leaving Kenston in dire need of a victory. The Bombers used a 19-2 second quarter run to pull away from the Bearcats.

“Even though it was just a two-game losing streak, it lasted almost a month,” said Kenston coach Matt Vespa. “It was definitely nice to get one against an athletic team like Bedford. Tonight was the ultimate team win.”

Michael Swartz led the Bombers with 12 points while Ryan Long and Ben Batista both pitched in with 10. Ryan Kooser added eight for the Bombers and D.J. DeJarnette finished with seven.

“We moved the ball and got some wide open shots and knocked them down,” Vespa said. “They played a variety of zone so we knew if we moved the ball we’d get whatever shot we wanted. We didn’t have to take good shots, we could take great shots. Guys stepped up.”

Swartz hit a pair of 3-pointers in collecting his team-high 12.

“This was the best ball movement we’ve had all year, pushing the ball up the floor with our heads up at all times,” Swartz said. “Swinging the ball is key for us and if we do, we can compete with anyone.”

Long also hit a pair of 3s and was equally impressive on the defensive end.

“Having Ryan Long back was great,” Vespa said. “He played his best varsity game. He had six blocks and four or five steals. Tyran Smith came in and gave us a spark. Having everyone step up bodes well for the rest of the season because we’re going to need everybody.”

With a long overdue win, the Bombers have restored their confidence and are eager to get back on the court on Friday at Riverside.

“I think we just needed to regain our composure and play how we know we are capable,” Swartz said. “Collectively, we all needed to see and witness a win to bounce back and get back on a winning streak. I think it’s huge going back into conference play knowing what we can do and what works for us offensively and defensively.”

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.