CHELSEA, Mass. -- Connecticut power Capital Prep may not have the size of many elite high school basketball programs, but –- as the Raiders of West Roxbury can attest –- they sure can run.
Led by standout guard Kahlil Dukes, Capital (4-1) used its speed to overpower Westie on both ends of the floor, en route to an 83-65 win at the BABC Holiday Classic Invitational, at Chelsea High School.
“That’s the way we play,” Capital head coach Levy Gillespie said. “It gives us an advantage because we don’t have a particularly big team, but we have a quick team. We can pressure people full-court most of the game … and on offense these guys love to score.”
Providing the greatest chunk of this scoring was Dukes, who led all scorers with 30 points. Coming off a 51-point performance in the Trailblazers’ double-overtime win over Classical on Monday, the junior showed tremendous pace on, using quick moves to slice through the Raider defense for easy layups.
Dukes also showcased his range, knocking down several 3-pointers from the baseline. He was also seen hitting three's from beyond NBA range with ease during halftime.
The Capital speed was evident not only on the fast break, but on the defensive end as well, as the Blazers employed a full-court press for almost the entire game, frustrating the larger Raiders team into forcing errant passes.
While Capital held a comfortable lead for a majority of the game, the nail in the coffin was hammered in during the third quarter.
Trailing by nine after one period, West Roxbury remained in striking distance with clutch outside shooting by sophomore Markus Neale and a strong presence under the basket in senior Sterling Brown.
Neale and Brown, the Raiders’ two captains, led the team in scoring with 18 and 15 points, respectively, and the deficit remained at 10 at half.
The Blazers brought the hammer down in the third, however, as Dukes (9 points in the quarter) got some help down low from bruising senior forward DeWayne Wynn (12 points in the third, 20 total).
“I think we came out of the half feeling kind of confident, we had a 10-point lead,” Gillespie said, “and the objective obviously was to push the ball. I think after halftime we were able to do that much more; we had guys that were open and [we got] four or five layups right under the basket, which really worked in our favor.”
Capital built a 67-42 lead after the third frame before bringing in its reserves and coasting to an 83-65 victory.
The Trailblazers return to action Friday when they host Bullard-Havens Regional (Conn.). West Roxbury will play New Bedford on Thursday in Chelsea for its final game of the BABC Invitational.
Windsor (Conn.) 98, New Bedford 71
The theme of Connecticut dominance continued in Game 2 of the Invitational, as Windsor (Conn.) High shot the lights out in a 98-71 rout of New Bedford.
Eight different players scored in the first half for the Warriors (12 total), as Windsor built a 23-10 lead after the first quarter. An 11-point halftime margin ballooned further in the third, as senior guard Andrew Hurd nailed four 3-pointers, the last of which gave Windsor a 66-40 lead with 2:30 left in the third and brought the New Bedford reserves into the game.
Hurd (20 points) was one of five Warriors to finish in double figures.
Junior guard Rylin Collazo carried the Whalers, leading all scorers with 24 points, including a bucket from beyond half court as the first half expired.
New Bedford will face West Roxbury on Thursday at 4 p.m. in the final game of the tournament for both teams.