Riverhead senior forward Tyrese Kerr might not have played as much as he wanted due to foul trouble, but he caused plenty of trouble for Huntington during crunch time.
Kerr scored 8 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, including 7 in the final 2 minutes 44 seconds, to boost the Blue Waves to a 67-60 road win in an intense and exciting Suffolk County League III boys basketball game on Thursday night.
After Kerr committed his fourth foul 48 seconds into the third quarter, Riverhead coach John Rossetti sat down his star for the rest of the period. When Kerr returned to the game in the fourth quarter, it was only for cameo appearances on offense to keep him away from foul trouble as he and Malik Washington shuttled in and out of the game.
The strategy worked to perfection down the stretch.
Kerr hit a driving shot to give the Blue Waves (3-0, 2-0) a 61-60 lead with 2:44 remaining that they would never relinquish.
He was far from finished. Kerr sank another basket off a drive for 3-point margin with 1:04 left before putting in a layup with 55.7 seconds to go, giving the Blue Waves a 65-60 advantage. He added two foul shots in the final 30.3 seconds to seal the victory.
The Blue Devils (0-3, 0-2) came out of the gate like gangbusters as Kenny Charles (20 points) scored the first 11 points of the game on three treys and two foul shots before the Blue Waves recovered and outscored the hosts, 17-5, to take a 17-16 edge at the end of the first quarter.
The rest of the game was a back-and-forth affair as Sharron Trent, Steve Asconia and reserve Lintell Brown took turns keeping Riverhead in the game with Kerr in foul trouble.
Asconia, who finished with a game-high 15 rebounds, scored 6 of his 13 points in the first quarter.
Trent took over in the second quarter, connecting on 10 of his team-high 18 points, thanks to three treys even though Huntington grabbed a 37-32 halftime advantage.
And Brown made his impact in the second half by tallying 9 of his 12 points, including 5 in the fourth quarter.
Photo caption: Sharron Trent scored 10 of his team-leading 18 points in the second quarter for Riverhead in its triumph over Huntington. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)