CIAC BOYS HOOP DAY 1: Holy Cross, Kennedy move on to second round

The Holy Cross and Kennedy boys basketball teams experienced some difficulty in their first round games Monday night, but both persevered and moved on.
Here’s how each game went:

No. 4 Holy Cross 59, No. 29 Killingly 41: The Crusaders got more than they may have bargained for in the first half against the Redmen, but were able to pull away in the second half.
Holy Cross (19-5 overall) will play No. 13 Rocky Hill of the CCC in a second round matchup Wednesday at 7 p.m. inside Tim McDonald Gymnasium. The Terriers took down No. 20 Windham, like Killingly from the ECC, 74-67.
For Holy Cross, it was a tough start. Killingly was able to take a 16-13 lead after the opening eight minutes, then the home side led 30-28 by halftime. The Crusaders used a 12-4 third quarter to stretch the lead to 42-34, then put the game away in the fourth quarter by a 17-7 margin.
Jack Potter came up huge for Holy Cross, scoring a team-high 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Kerson Etienne scored 13 points, Nyzair Rountree added 12 and DeAndre Wallace chipped in nine. Head coach Ryan Olsen won a state tournament game in his first appearance.

No. 8 Kennedy 54, No. 25 Cheshire 48: This game, like the meeting last year in the same Class LL first round, was an even matchup, and again the Eagles had enough to prevail.
Kennedy (18-5 overall) will host No. 9 Simsbury of the CCC in a second round matchup Wednesday at 7 p.m. inside Jack Taglia Gymnasium. The Trojans defeated fellow CCC team Manchester, the No. 24 seed, by a score of 49-45.
Kennedy, which won a 9-24 matchup against Cheshire by three points last season, led 10-9 after the first quarter on Monday. That lead was still a single point at halftime, 26-25, before the Eagles extended it to the winning margin of six points after three quarters (37-31).
Cheshire proved to be quite the challenge, but Kennedy did just enough to move on. Chomari Joseph and William Spears each hit for 14 points for the Eagles. Tyvon Stenson had 13 points while Lashawn Smith added 10. As the Rep-Am’s Joe Palladino pointed out, Ty Sands grabbed 11 rebounds in the second half after missing most of the first due to foul trouble.
Kennedy needed everything it could get out of each player to hold off Cheshire.