Balance, defense key Kendall cagers to G-R title season

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 26 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo contributed by Bruce Landis – The Genesee Region League Division 1 champion Kendall basketball team includes, in front from left, Devin Appleton, Riley Iqbal, Alex Sutphen, Mookie Nauden and Justin Barrett. In back are Coach Justin Laureano, Dustin Furness, Will Condo, Isaiah Brown, Johnny Steffen and Garret Love.

A balanced attack, a stingy defense and a solid group of role players combined to earn Kendall the Genesee Region League Division 1 championship this season.

In ending a 13 year G-R title drought, the Eagles balanced attack included six players who averaged between 7 and 10 points per game. That contingent included senior Garret Love at 10.7 points, junior Mookie Nauden 10.5, senior Isaiah Brown 9.7, senior Devin Appleton 8.9, senior Alex Sutpen 8.2 and junior Will Condo 7.3.

Love also averaged 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals, Brown 8.05 rebounds and 2.75 blocks, Nauden 7.3 rebounds ad 6 assists, Condo 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists, Sutphen 2.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists and Appleton 2 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

“We wanted to have good balance to be successful and we did and defense is a huge focus for me,” said Kendall Coach Justin Laureano. “But one of the most importent keys for us, that often goes unrecognized, is the important part our role players play in running our opponents offense and defense in practice that allows us to prepare every day for our next game.”

That key group of players includes seniors Dustin Furness and Tyler Johnson along with juniors Riley Iqbal, Johnny Steffen and Justin Barrett.

“They give 110 percent in practice everyday to get us ready and without that effort we wouldn’t be successful,” said Laureano. “Without these role players we wouldn’t be division champs.”

Kendall captured its first G-R division championship since the 2000-2001 season with a 12-4 record.

Kendall finished the successful title quest with string of six straight league victories. The Eagles balanced attack was well reflected during that key stretch as four different players took turns leading in scoring.

The Eagles finished the season with a 12-7 overall record.