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Archive for Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Strong starts carry Seahawks

Seabury enjoys big first halves to sweep Englewood Christian

January 31, 2007

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Ryan Gutierrez was lights out - literally - for the Seabury Academy boys basketball squad in a thrilling 51-47 victory over Englewood Christian on Tuesday.

Halfway through the first quarter, a little after Gutierrez dropped in his fourth consecutive three-pointer to open the game, the Seahawks' gym went dark.

By accident, the light switch was flipped down, causing a 10-minute delay while the lights warmed back up.

"I just got off (hot) when I started and just kind of went on with it," said Gutierrez, who was 6-of-9 from the field with a game-high 20 points. "We stayed after it (following the blackout), and the second quarter was tough with just five points. But after that I think we got at it and took control."

The delay didn't have much of an effect on the Seahawks the remainder of the first quarter as they went on a 7-0 run for a 17-point advantage over the Knights.

However, Englewood put together a run of its own and was able to close within eight by halftime.

"I thought it was going to be a repeat of last night, after that comeback they made," said Seabury's Scott King, referring to a 57-41 loss Monday in which the Seahawks had a 26-23 halftime lead. "We've just had the same situation happen to us over and over. We remembered how we felt after the last couple of games. But we stuck together pretty well and were able to pull it out."

After Englewood crept ahead late in the fourth, it became a case of who would have the ball last. Fortunately for Seabury, it was its freshman point guard - Gutierrez.

With a two-point lead courtesy of two free throws by Max Cannon, the small Gutierrez came away with a defensive rebound in the paint on the ensuing possession and was quickly fouled with nine seconds remaining. The freshman - cool customer that he is - knocked down both attempts to clinch a hard-fought game.

Seabury coach Matthew Downing Jr. said Gutierrez was improving leaps and bounds in the maturation process of playing at the high-school level. So it would seem the team is improving as Gutierrez progresses, which is what Downing is expecting.

"We did a little growing up tonight," Downing said. "Understanding that basketball is made of runs - we had our run early, they had their run in the middle - but to understand that the game is 32 minutes, and that's going to happen."

Seabury Academy girls 44, Englewood Christian 28

Seahawks coach Nick Taylor seems to get a good girls squad for one half and a bad girls squad for one half on a regular basis.

In Tuesday's victory, Seabury scored 32 points in the first two quarters and turned the ball over just eight times - an area of emphasis for Taylor of late.

However, following the intermission, the shooting went cold and the ball security went to shambles.

Seabury made just 24 percent of its second-half shots - after shooting 45 percent in the first half - and turned the ball over 16 times.

"We won, and I'm happy with that," Taylor said, "but we need to work on coming out at halftime. Definitely tonight, we should have come out and put some more points on the board, but only scored 12 points in the second half. If you do that against really good teams, you're going to get beat every night."

Sophomore guard Bria Phipps added, "Usually with us, it's the second half that's a lot better. In the second half we underestimated them and kind of got ahead of ourselves and said, 'Oh, we're so far ahead we don't have to try as hard.'

"We just didn't keep up our intensity like we should have."

Molly Thurman scored a game-high 18 points on 9-of-19 shooting and finished with 15 rebounds.

Melissa Burch also had a double-double with her game-high 22 boards to go with her 11 points.

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