Comeback falls short for Ascension Catholic

Kyle Riviere
Kaleb Winchester scored 28 in Ascension Catholic's 68-60 loss to Kentwood. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Kaleb Winchester was on fire last Tuesday night as Ascension Catholic hosted Kentwood. His 28 points kept the Bulldogs nipping at the Kangaroos' heels. But Bryce Chappell's 31 put Kentwood in the win column when the final seconds ticked off of the clock.

Chappell's eight 3-pointers helped the Kangaroos fight back from a 6-point first-half deficit to take the lead. They were up 11 to start the second half.

Even when a DC Mattingly trey tied the game late, Chappell and Kentwood ended the contest on a 9-1 run to take the 68-60 victory.

"I'm pleased with our effort and how we didn't give up, but at the same time, winning is the ultimate goal, and we failed to do that tonight," Ascension Catholic head coach Kylon Green said.

After losing eight straight games, the Bulldogs came into their district clash with Kentwood fresh off of three wins in their previous five outings.

They got off to a hot start with Mattingly and Winchester both hitting 3-pointers to start the game. It gave Ascension Catholic an 8-0 lead to begin the contest.

The Kagaroos answered right back with a 12-2 run to take a 12-10 lead. All 12 points were scored by Chappell in the form of four 3-pointers.

To end the up-and-down shootout of a first quarter, Kebori Hunter and Mattingly hit treys of their own to spearhead a 10-2 run. The spurt gave Ascension Catholic a 23-18 advantage heading into the second quarter.

The Bulldogs stretched their lead out to 6 early on, but Kentwood rattled off a 10-4 run to tie the game at 30. They later reeled off 7 straight points to go ahead, 37-32.

Ascension Catholic ended the half with two straight steals that resulted in layups. It trimmed the deficit to 1 at the break.

Chappell gave Kentwood a 4-point advantage as the third quarter began when he nailed yet another trey. It sparked a 10-0 run by the Kangaroos to put the Bulldogs in an 11-point hole.

Ascension Catholic didn't let it break them. They went on a 7-0 run of their own to end the period. It cut the lead down to 49-46 heading into the fourth.

Winchester drilled a deep 3-pointer late in the game to cut the Kangaroo led to 2.

Chappell hit a free throw on the other end to put the lead at 3.

With the ball, Ascension Catholic shot the ball three times, but missed each one. After their fourth offensive rebound of the possession, Mattingly hit his third trey of the game to tie the contest at 59.

From then on, it was all Kangaroos. They finished the game on a 9-1 run to take the game, 68-60.

Coach Green said that the 10-0 run Kentwood made to start the second half was the difference in the game.

"That really wore on our legs. We were forced to play full-court man-on-man the whole game, and they have a ton of athletic guys," Green said. "You have to take your hat off to them. They were able to handle our pressure as well as anyone we've played all year."

In two games against Kentwood this season, Ascension Catholic has lost by a combined 13 points.

Winchester led all scorers for the Bulldogs with 28. Hunter had 11, while Mattingly had 9 and Javon Yarbrough finished with 7.

The loss dropped Ascension Catholic to 3-4 in district play. On Friday, they'll host St. John.