January 5th, 2021

DeSales Falls Short in Season Opener

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Ed Peak

Staff Writer


DeSales Falls Short in Season Opener
Photo by Ed Peak

 DeSales learned something about its team in the season opener Monday night. They learned they can play with a highly ranked opponent. The problem was the Colts couldn't finish. Elizabethtown rallied for a 73-70 victory over host DeSales. 

 

A possible sleeper pick to win the Sixth Region, the Colts led by as many as 13 points (37-24) early in the third quarter saw the lead evaporate to trail 48-47 by quarters end.

 

The defending Fifth Region champions (27-3 last season) and ranked eighth in a preseason poll of coaches by The Courier-Journal, scored 10 straight points to end the third quarter. 

 

DeSales had trouble with the Panthers quickness all night, were forced into 21 turnovers, 10 in the first quarter.

 

"I thought our guys hung in there," said DeSales coach Damien Anderson. "We didn't handle their pressure great and turned it over. With the turnovers and that free throw discrepancy (37 to 13 attempts) its kind of amazing we lost by only three."

 

E'town led by as much as 62-55 after Khia Sherrard's two free throws with 3:50 to play. Khia Sherrard finished with 12 points while twin brother Kam Sherrard and Camden Williams add 17 points.

 

DeSales rallied as senior forward Sekou Kalle, who has signed with Division I Akron, led the Colts with 24 points. Kalle and Keith Robinson, who added 12 points, completed back to back three point plays to trail 62-61 with 3:14.

E'town went ahead 70-65 on Alandre Murphy's second straight basket with 22 seconds. 

 

Senior guard Devin Perry, a transfer from Central, finished with 20 points, hit a three pointer from the top of the key with 16.1 seconds but the Colts still trailed 70-68. The Panthers Khia Sherrod made two free throws with 14.1 for a four point lead. Kalie got a layup with 9.6 but the Colts couldn't get any closer.

 

"DeSales is a very good basketball team," said Elizabethtown coach James Haire. "I have the majority of my team back and they played in the state (football) championship game. We've been in the gym together six days. We were rusty. We missed a lot of free throws."

 

Haire said E'town's quickness and pressure helped forced DeSales into those turnovers. "We were very fortunate to get our hands on some balls, get some deflections. That kind of went our way. I feel very fortunate we came out of here with a win.

"The twins caused havoc. This is the third set of twins I've coached and I've learned they play better if you play them together," said Haire.

 

On the other hand DeSales has a lot to build on. "What really happened to us was we let them speed us up," said Robinson. "We didn't play our game and let them do what  they wanted with us. They are a really good team. I thought we were better, but they ended up beating us. Yes. They are very quick."

 

What about the future for this DeSales team? 

 

"Today it really showed how good we are," said Robinson. "We had that 13 point lead and they started pressuring us. I think we are working really well together."

A lot of positives to build on.

 

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