South Kent wins season opener

Jojo Wallace helped South Kent control the tempo of the game from the perimeter.

Photo by Riley Klein

South Kent wins season opener

KENT — South Kent School prep basketball began the 2023-24 season by gliding to a 91-74 victory over United States Military Academy (West Point Prep) on Wednesday, Nov. 8. 

The Cardinals dictated the tempo of the game through superior size and explosive athleticism. West Point lived and died by the long ball due to the inability to penetrate the paint with consistent success.

After concluding the 2022-23 season as the New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) AAA champions, South Kent’s new lineup showed they intend to keep the program’s success rolling in the coming season.

Well over 100 fans filled Brown Gym for the season opener. One spirited supporter brought a drum, which boomed each time West Point was on offense, limiting the Army of One’s ability to communicate on the court.

With just four team practices under their belt, the Cardinals got off to a somewhat rocky start offensively. Dominance on defense bought them time and kept the game even as they gelled into Coach Raphael Chillious’ high-speed offense.

Cardinal guards Jojo Wallace and Nate Guerengomba found a rhythm on the perimeter and created open space for Kelvin Odih to work his way to the rim. The trio combined for 28 points in the first half and helped South Kent build a 35-31 lead by the break. 

In the second half, the Cardinals took flight. They came out of the locker room on a mission and displayed pure dominance on both ends of the court.

Dunks rattled the rim and ignited the audience. “That rim takes damage,” said a spectator in the bleachers.

The Cardinals’ shots were all falling by this point and their defense continued to lock down the middle. Guerengomba sank four 3-pointers in the second period and inspired his teammates to get in on the action.

“It’s contagious. You shoot like that, everybody will shoot like that,” said Coach Chillious to the huddle during a second-half timeout.

West Point shot from the perimeter with considerable success, but the inability to produce in the paint prevented Army from building up steam. 

South Kent kept pushing the pace until the final buzzer and ended the game with a 91-74 win to start the new season.

“Always good to get a win,” said Chillious after the game. “We’ll take it.”

Guerengomba led South Kent in scoring with 29 points. Wallace ended with 22 points and Odih had 16 points. On defense, 6’8” forward Jacob Hogarth had too many blocks to count.

West Point was led by Jacen Halloway, who ended with 25 points. Alex Engro finished with 17 points thanks to his lights-out jumper.

South Kent laced them up again the next night, Thursday, Nov. 9, for a home game against Redemption Christian Academy. The Cardinals kept the ball rolling with another victory, 95-61.

The team will head out on the road for a stretch of away games before returning to South Kent on Wednesday, Dec. 6, to host Busche Academy for a 5 p.m. tip off.

Latest News

Young Salisbury dancer takes national title in Beyond the Stars Dance Competition

Addison Aylward-Vreeland couldn't contain her reaction as the judges named her the first place dancer.

Provided by Larissa Vreeland

SALISBURY — Earlier this month, a rising talent cemented her place in the firmament of competitive dance when Addison Aylward-Vreeland placed first at the national level of the Beyond The Stars Dance Competition.

Aylward-Vreeland, a rising fourth grader at Salisbury Central school, secured top marks among a field of twenty-four regional winners in the solo jazz dance category.

Keep ReadingShow less
Thru hikers linked by life on the Appalachian Trail

Riley Moriarty


Of thousands who attempt to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, only one in four make it.

The AT, completed in 1937, runs over roughly 2,200 miles, from Springer Mountain in Georgia’s Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest to Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park of Maine.

Keep ReadingShow less
17th Annual New England Clambake: a community feast for a cause

The clambake returns to SWSA's Satre Hill July 27 to support the Jane Lloyd Fund.


The 17th Annual Traditional New England Clambake, sponsored by NBT Bank and benefiting the Jane Lloyd Fund, is set for Saturday, July 27, transforming the Salisbury Winter Sports Association’s Satre Hill into a cornucopia of mouthwatering food, live music, and community spirit.

The Jane Lloyd Fund, now in its 19th year, is administered by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and helps families battling cancer with day-to-day living expenses. Tanya Tedder, who serves on the fund’s small advisory board, was instrumental in the forming of the organization. After Jane Lloyd passed away in 2005 after an eight-year battle with cancer, the family asked Tedder to help start the foundation. “I was struggling myself with some loss,” said Tedder. “You know, you get in that spot, and you don’t know what to do with yourself. Someone once said to me, ‘Grief is just love with no place to go.’ I was absolutely thrilled to be asked and thrilled to jump into a mission that was so meaningful for the community.”

Keep ReadingShow less