Volcanoes’ quick start yields win

Vancouver rolls past visitors from Illinois

By Matt Calkins, Columbian Sports Reporter

Published:

 

You won’t read this sentence often. The Vancouver Volcanoes lost the second quarter, lost the third quarter, tied the fourth quarter … and still earned the blowout win Friday.

It wasn’t quite over before it started, but it was over before the second period started, as the Volcanoes rolled to a 121-96 International Basketball League win over the Kankakee County Soldiers at O’Connell Sports Center.

Vancouver (11-6) led 39-12 after the first quarter and went up 49-12 less than three minutes into the second. Kankakee (12-6), from Illinois, slowly chipped away at the deficit, but never got closer than 18 points.

Granted, the latter 30 minutes or so of the game featured more lethargy than it did energy, but the Volcanoes are going to be thinking more about how started than how they finished.

“We have the playoffs coming up, and we wanted to treat this game like it was a playoff game,” Volcanoes coach Bryan Hunter said. “It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re up by that much that quickly.”

Vancouver’s Andre Murray led all scorers Friday with 21 points, the former Portland State guard hitting 10 of his 22 shots. Devin Uskoski and Brad Lechtenberg added 18 points apiece for the Volcanoes — Lechtenberg going 6 for 10 from 3-point distance.

But the principal player in the early route was Vancouver’s defense, which pressured bewildered Soldiers guards to the point that simply crossing half court became a mini victory. Murray thinks the two consecutive losses Vancouver experienced last week may have been the impetus for his team’s intensity.

“We didn’t want to feel like that again,” Murray said. “We play well at home. Getting to host the playoffs at home might be our good luck charm.”

Those playoffs begin next Friday, but not before two more regular-season games taking place Sunday and Tuesday.

The lopsided scoring Friday allowed fan favorite Kenta Nakashima of Japan to enter the game late for Vancouver. He didn’t disappoint, scoring six points in one minute and 47 seconds.

“Kenta always goes hard,” teammate Lawrence Blackledge said. “It’s never surprising when he makes some shots.”

VANCOUVER VOLCANOES 121, KANKAKEE SOLDIERS 96

KANKAKEE (12-6) — Alexander 3-8 2-4 10, TJ Jackson 4-15 6-6 14, Booyer 7-14 5-6 20, Tyler 6-15 2-2 18, Lambert 1-5 0-0 2, J Jackson 7-14 0-2 14, Gweth 5-10 1-2 12, Sickmeyer 2-6 0-0 4, Sickmeyer 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 36-90 16-22 96.

VANCOUVER (11-6) — Lechtenberg 6-12 0-0 18, Bloodsaw 1-5 1-2 3, Williams 3-6 8-8 15, Tarver 6-9 2-4 17, Blackledge 5-15 0-3 10, Murray 10-22 1-1 21, Nakaskima 2-2 1-2 6, Uskoski 7-12 4-5 18, Carlisle 1-3 0-3 2, Nevels 4-6 1-1 9, Moritz 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 46-96 18-29 121.

Kankakee 12 30 26 28— 96

Vancouver 39 26 28 28—121