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

All kinds of minds at Autism Nature Trail

Natalia Zukerman playing for a group of school children at the Autism Nature Trail.

Loren Penmann

At Letchworth State Park in Castile, N.Y. the trees have a secret: they whisper to those who listen closely, especially to those who might hear the world differently. This is where you can find the Autism Nature Trail, or ANT, the first of its kind in this country, perhaps in the world. Designed for visitors on the autism spectrum, the ANT is a one-mile looped trail with eight stations at various intervals, little moments strung together, allowing visitors to experience everything from stillness to wild adventure.

The idea for the ANT was born from a conversation in 2014 between Loren Penman, a retired teacher and administrator, and her neighbor. The two women were discussing the new nature center at the park and Penman’s neighbor said that her grandson, who loved the park, probably wouldn’t be able to enjoy a nature center. He had autism and at age seven was still without language and in a state of almost constant agitation. Her neighbor went on to say, however, that she had observed her grandson finding great calm at Letchworth, a state of being he couldn’t achieve almost anywhere else. Speaking to another friend with an autistic grandchild, Penman heard the same sentiment about Letchworth; it completely calmed her grandchild. What was it about this special place that soothed the spirit?

Keep ReadingShow less
Snakes in the Catskills: A primer

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in collaboration with the Catskill Science Collaborative, presented “Snakes in the Catskills: A Primer,” the latest in its lecture series, on June 5. Presenter John Vanek, is a zoologist at the New York Natural Heritage Program in Syracuse, NY. The snake above is a harmless Northern Brown Snake. They are known as a “gardener’s friend” because they eat snails, slugs, and worms.

John Vanek

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in collaboration with the Catskill Science Collaborative, presented “Snakes in the Catskills: A Primer,” the latest in its lecture series, on June 5. Presenter John Vanek, is a zoologist at the New York Natural Heritage Program in Syracuse.

There are thirteen kinds of snakes in the Catskills. Only two are venomous. Vanek defined the Catskills area as including the counties of Greene, Delaware, Ulster, Sullivan, and Dutchess.

Keep ReadingShow less
Brunch at Troutbeck: Black Emmer Pancakes

Black Emmer Pancakes by Chef Vincent Gilberti at Troutbeck.

Jim Henkens

At Troutbeck, every meal is an experience, but Sundays have taken on a special charm with the highly anticipated return of brunch. Impeccably sourced, plentiful, elegant yet approachable, and immensely satisfying, the brunch menu reflects the essence of Troutbeck’s culinary philosophy. Available every Sunday, brunch complements the existing offerings of three meals a day, seven days a week, all open to the public.

The culinary program at Troutbeck is led by Executive Chef Vincent Gilberti, who honors the natural landscape through thoughtful and seasonal cuisine. “We launched brunch in February,” said Chef Vinny, as he’s affectionately known. “It’s been a goal of mine to add brunch since returning to Troutbeck as executive chef last year. Before my time here and before the pandemic, we had a bustling and fun brunch program, and while we’ve all returned to ‘normalcy,’ brunch was something we wanted to get back in the mix.” Chef Vinny hails from the Hudson Valley and brings with him a wealth of experience from some of New York City’s most celebrated restaurants, including Pulino’s, Battersby, and Dover. After a stint in San Francisco’s SPQR, where he honed his pasta-making skills, Chef Vinny has returned to Troutbeck with a renewed passion for the farm-to-table philosophy.

Keep ReadingShow less
Nature-inspired exhibit opens in Sharon

"Pearl" from the "Elements" series.

Provided

The Sharon Town Hall is currently displaying an art exhibit by Pamela Peeters entitled “No Fear of Flying” until September 3, 2024. The exhibit opened on June 3 to celebrate World Environment Day.

The show displays work by Peeters, Allan Blagden, Zelena Blagden and Jean Saliter. Pamela Peeters has had a decades-long career as an environmental economist, sustainability strategist and ECO consultant, appearing on television and radio, sponsoring and leading environmental education programs globally and is recognized for her various artistic endeavors.

Keep ReadingShow less