By Josh Levine
Behind a 12-0 run that lasted longer than five minutes in the third quarter, visiting Leadership High School beat International Studies Academy 56-35 on Saturday.
The Griffins (1-0) were led by Francisco Chacon and Riordan Anunciacion, who had 14 and 13 points, respectively. Chacon scored seven points in the third quarter.
The Cobras (0-1) turned the ball over 28 times in the loss, but had some bright moments from their newly formed varsity team. This is the first time in two seasons ISA has been able to field a team.
“We’re a young team, and we didn’t come out with that hunger and desire to win today,” said ISA head coach Verna Castro. “It’s good that we were able to get a team, and this just proves that ISA is back on the map.”
David McKnely scored 13 points for the Cobras in the loss, including nine points in the second half.
Coming off its first Bay Counties League Central title last season, the game was not a perfect one for Leadership either. In total, the Griffins committed 22 turnovers, including seven in the second quarter that gave the Cobras some life.”
“Wow, 22 turnovers. That’s a lot. But we did get them to commit 28 turnovers, and that’s a big deal,” said Leadership head coach George Adkins. “We decided that since they are new, that they would be confused if we decided to pressure full court, and that helped out.”
Leadership only had nine players on its roster, as five of their returners from last year are out due to poor grades.
On the other side, ISA only had eight total players and faced foul trouble in the second half. Point guard Duwone Swann received his fifth foul late in the third quarter and Geoffrey Simpson fouled out midway through the fourth quarter. That dropped the eligible ISA roster to six for most of the fourth quarter. Despite missing two players, ISA scored 12 fourth quarter points, its highest total of any quarter.
“Today gave us a lot of confidence in our game,” Castro said. “Duwone fouling out hurt us, but he is only a freshman and needs to learn how to work with his body. He is a lot faster than he knows and sometimes that works against him.”
Leadership continues non-league play at Burton Saturday and ISA travels to Oakland Military Institute, also on Saturday.