Champagne expanded rotation resulted in 10 different players scoring, a more consistent defensive effort and a 69-53 win over visiting Canton.
Beyond Champagne’s starting five of Seth Sullivan, Justin Vine, Tom Madden, Will Weir and Kyle Layman, the Warriors got extended runs from Pharaoh Davis and Noah Goodwin as well as minutes from Brendan King and Adrian Castillo. The Warriors got 19 points from the bench.
“We’re still feeling out some situations,” Champagne said. “There’s not a big difference between our six, seven, eight and nine guys – I said, why aren’t we playing more guys? I think it helped with our defensive intensity, I think we were able to maintain it longer. I thought we did a good job recovering and making them tough shots. We haven’t played that many guys in the first two games but I think it’s something we should do.”
That defensive effort limited Canton to just seven points in the first quarter as KP held a four point advantage after one. With fresh legs in the second quarter, the Warriors offensive exploded for 23 points.
Canton’s Eric Olshaker came away with a steal and Devin Foster, who scored 14 of his career-high 24 points in the second quarter, converted on the other end to bring the Bulldogs within two at 18-16. That’s when KP really created separation.
First, Layman (team-high 16 points, five rebounds) drilled a three and after an offensive rebound, Sullivan hit a three of his own. Weir added a bucket in the paint before Layman connected for another three pointer to create a 10-point lead, 29-19. Sullivan added a late three and KP took a 34-25 lead into the locker room.
Six points apiece from Vine and Layman helped carry King Philip’s offense early while Goodwin added a basket late off the bench. KP allowed just nine points in the third quarter and took a 50-34 lead after three quarters.
“I thought our inside presence was good,” Champagne said. “I thought it was good last Friday too, but we just had a bad third quarter overall. Our length helped close out on their shots too. They have a couple of pretty talented kids. We knew they’d get a certain amount of points but overall I thought we contained them pretty well.”
Canton had its best offensive quarter in the fourth, scoring 19 points but King Philip matched it each step of the way with 19 points of their own.
“They spread it around, they had good depth and they had a lot of guys hurt us in a lot of different ways,” Canton head coach Ryan Gordy said. “Right now we need to do a better job of getting more guys involved, maybe we need to tweak some offensive sets and find ways to get more guys to contribute offensively for us. It’s not going to cut it with just two guys scoring for us.”
Beyond Layman, Vine finished with 11 points and three assists, Weir had 10 points and seven rebounds, Sullivan had six points and King added six points off the bench.
Canton (0-3, 0-3) will look for its first win when they return to action after the holidays on Thursday, December 29th with a trip to Middleboro.
“It’s just about getting better and honoring that process and really focusing on one day at a time and finding ways to improve,” Gordy said.