Tag Archives: Rocco Kokinacis

Cam Keliher reaches 1000 points in Amesbury’s 63-38 win over Kipp Academy

Cam Keliher reaches 1000 points
Cam on a baseline drive

(Amesbury MA) Good things happened in the second half for Amesbury.

Cam Keliher reached 1000 points and the Amesbury defense came to life.

The Indians (12-8) finished their regular season with a win over Kipp Academy, 63-38, on Thursday night.

Now Amesbury will wait until the MIAA tournament starts on February 28th.

Rebound battle

“We’re working on finding a scrimmage somewhere during the time off,” said Coach Comeau afterwards.

Cam Keliher needed seventeen points to reach a thousand and had sixteen in the first half.

Several minutes into the second half, the AHS senior drove the left baseline and collected the point he needed.  Play was immediately stopped and plenty of pictures were taken with teammates and family.

“This is a dream come true,” said Cam afterwards.  “So many people helped me to get to this point and I want to thank them all including family, coaches, and teammates.”

Matt Welch (15 points)

“Cam’s been working for this for a long time,” said teammate/friend Matt Welch post-game.  “He been stressing about it a bit but now he’s got it.  I’m happy for him.”

The attention around Cam going for a special point total was understandably a distraction.  Instead of overwhelming the 3-13 Panthers from the get-go, the Indians gave the visitors too many chances and missed too many shots.

Halftime seemed to help.

Juan Setel-Singh (9 points)

“I let them have it at halftime,” said AHS coach Tom Comeau.  “They all knew that Cam had something happening today but that shouldn’t have affected their defensive intensity.”

After two minutes of direct talk on defensive intensity, the Indians were on the floor for eight minutes of organized shooting.

The results in both areas were noticeable in the second half.

A three by junior Juan Setal-Singh put the Panthers (3-14) within a possession (26-23) of the lead after 1 ½ minutes of second-half play.

Then the tide turned.

Rocco Kokinacis and Hakim Badmus

The Indians put nine straight unanswered points together.  Among the collection were the points that Cam needed to reach 1000.  Rocco Kokinacis had a three and a rebound basket before Cam’s historic basket.  Matt Welch (15 points) scored on a layup after it.

On defense, Amesbury activated a 2-2-1 zone defense.  The Panthers really struggled against it.

“We’ve seen a lot of 2-2-1,” said Kipp coach Brian Tobin afterwards.  “It doesn’t always bother us but today it quickly became a turnover-fest.”

Amesbury coach Tom Comeau

The score was 38-26 with a minute left in the third period.  The next 3+ minutes of playing time belonged totally to the home team.

Amesbury tallied sixteen straight points and gained permanent separation (54-26) from the team from Lynn with nearly six minutes of playing time remaining.

Matt Welch had nine points during the run of good offense and defense.

Matt Welch in for two

The Indians lead grew to thirty (61-31) several minutes later.

“Our effort was good for a half,” said Coach Tobin.  “Once we got down things snowballed.”

Coach Comeau: “The mindset was changed in the second half.  Sometimes a team needs a wakeup call.  They responded well.”

Matt Welch: “I’ve played AAU with him for eight years.  He’s just a great kid to play with.  He’s a good friend and a teammate.  He’s like a brother to me.”

Amesbury   11   14   17   21   =   63

Kipp               9      8     9   12   =   38

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Last home game
Scramble on the floor
Henry O’Neill in for a layup
Chasing a loose ball
Nick Marden on the glass
Christian Encarnacion
Cam Keliher guarding Jaythean Im
More defense
Trosky Pena
Nick Marden surrounded
Matt Heidt defends
1000-point scorers (Cam Keliher and Avery Hallinan)
Kipp Academy box
Amesbury box

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Hot-shooting Amesbury takes down Manchester-Essex 77-58

Jaden Keliher (26 points) dribbles by Lars Arntsen

Rocco Kokinacis (11 points) splits two defenders

(Amesbury MA) There was no off button for the Amesbury Indians on this night.

Amesbury (8-3) jumped all over a very good Manchester-Essex team with a convincing, 77-58, win on Monday night in Cape Ann League action.

The Indians had a 25-5 final quarter against Hamilton-Wenham the other night and suffered a painful 63-50 loss to the Generals.

“We learned a lot from that loss,” said AHS coach Tom Comeau post-game.  “We have to take care of the basketball, win the 50/50 battles, and rebound.  We took care of all three phases tonight.”

Manchester-Essex (9-2) used multiple defenses but couldn’t slow down Amesbury.

Kellen Furse (11 points) passes out of an Amesbury double team

“We scored fifty-eight points,” said ME coach Tim St. Laurent afterwards.  “That should have been enough to win but we couldn’t contain them on the defensive end.  They were making shots and they were attacking us.  We didn’t keep them from getting to the rim.”

Amesbury built up a twenty-point lead (41-21) in the first half.

The Hornets cut that lead to eleven (61-50) at the start of the final quarter.

“I thought in the second half that we could get all the way back, but Amesbury was the hotter team tonight,” said Coach St. Laurent.

When ME narrowed the lead to eleven, the Indians answered with their third nine-point run of the game and back up the lead went to twenty (70-50) with four minutes left.

Senior Jaden Keliher (26 points) scored points in the breakaway first half (19) and then handled ME’s backcourt pressure in the second half.

“We came out and played hard,” said Jaden afterwards.  “We played together.”

Kyle Donovan (14 points) was a strong interior presence for the Indians

Junior Kyle Donovan (14 points) dominated the inside for AHS.

“Kyle was a ‘man’ out there,” said Coach Comeau.  “He plays hard and he’s a smart player.”

Tonight’s game did not get out of hand immediately.

The Hornets trailed only, 10-7, after five minutes. But then the first nine-point run kicked in.  Jimmy Gjikopulli (13 points) turned an ME miscue into a layup and followed that with a successful jump shot.  Jaden Keliher added a layup and a free throw and Ethan Catania converted a rebound.  Up the home team went, 19-7.

The Indians started the second quarter with another collection of consecutive points.

Play on the floor

Rocco Kokinacis (11 points) got to the rim twice.  Jimmy Gjikopulli converted his own rebound and Jaden Keliher added an old-fashioned 3-point play.  That boosted the AHS advantage to 28-11 only two minutes into the second quarter.

Amesbury was ahead, 43-24, at the half.

That lead would extend to 60-27 with two minutes left in the third quarter.  It looked like a cruise to the final buzzer for the Indians.  The Hornets, however, had other ideas!

Over the next 2 ½ minutes of playing time, the Hornets that I saw defeat Bishop Fenwick in double overtime, showed up.  Their defense was effective, and they made shots.  Visions of a big comeback started to take shape.

AJ Pallazola led a ME comeback attempt

Sophomore AJ Pallazola sparked the Hornets with a jump shot and two assists as ME put together a 13-1 segment stretching into the final quarter.

That 61-50 deficit looked manageable with 7 ½ minutes of playing time remaining.

“We called a timeout and things got settled down,” said Jaden Keliher.  “Then we went out there and kept them from making a comeback.”

Twice Kyle Donovan scored from in close and Jaden Keliher got to the basket.  Then Jimmy Gjikopulli got loose in the lane and added a free throw.  Back the lead went to twenty (70-50) and the Indians were home safe.

Sometimes backcourt turnovers will lead to rallies, but the Hornets pressure couldn’t get there tonight.

Jaden Keliher

“Jaden (Keliher) is strong with the ball,” said Coach Comeau.  “We have three guards who really play well so it’s hard to press us.”

Mason Paccone (15 points) led the ME scorers.  The Hornets senior drained three from long range.  Kellen Furse finished with eleven points.

Jaden Keliher: “We wanted to take away Kellen Furse and #12 (Jack Shaw).  Kellen is a great player.  I have a lot of respect for him.  I’ve grown up playing him.”

Coach Comeau: “Hamilton-Wenham came back against us and we let it snowball and get away from us.  We discussed before the game that we needed to learn from it.  They’re fast learners!”

Jaden Keliher: “Points are nice but getting a W at the end is what it’s all about.”

The Indians were 9-10 last season.

Pentucket players were in the audience at tonight’s game.

Amesbury box

Manchester-Essex box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Rocco Kokinacis

Coach Tom Comeau and Jaden Keliher in the closing minute

Frank Wood

Jaden Keliher breaks past Frank Wood

Jaden Keliher in close for two

Jimmy Gjikopulli

Kellen Furse and Jimmy Gjikopulli

Cam and Jaden Keliher guard Kellen Furse

Kellen Furse pressured by Rocco Kokinacis

Kyle Donovan


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