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Hart rolls over South Bakersfield

Posted: December 26, 2013 10:48 p.m.
Updated: December 26, 2013 10:48 p.m.

Hart's Luke Maly throws a layup past two South Bakersfield defenders during Thursday night's game at Hart High.

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Sometimes box scores can be misleading.

That wasn’t the case on Thursday night at Hart High School, as four Hart boys basketball players scored in double figures and the Indians beat South High of Bakersfield 92-32 in the opening round of the Hart Holiday Classic.

“I just wanted us to come out and set the tempo from the tip-off,” said Hart senior guard Lewis Stallworth, who led all scorers with 16 points. “We played a lot of tougher teams in the Westchester tournament earlier this year, and we learned a lot about our team’s character there. Tonight was just a fun opportunity for us playing at home for the first time.”
But while Stallworth and his teammates had fun distributing the ball and running a smooth and efficient attack, South had a monumentally different experience.

After displaying impressive athleticism and bringing the intensity in the game’s opening minutes, the Rebels (3-6) fell behind late in the first quarter and things only got worse from there.

Up by 10 points in the closing seconds of the first quarter, Indians senior forward Davis Koppenhaver was fouled on a 3-point attempt. After sinking his free throws, the Indians entered the second quarter up 24-11.

That’s when the show got going for Hart.

Relentless defensive pressure created multiple easy fast break opportunities for the Indians, and given that Hart was more than willing to share the ball those opportunities were converted more often than not.

Hart went on a 15-0 run to begin the second quarter, and led 59-21 at halftime.

“I think our depth kind of wore them down,” said Hart head coach Tom Kelly. “It’s our greatest strength. We have 16 guys suit up and any one of them is capable of playing well at any given time.”

That player on Thursday was 5-foot-9 spark plug Frank Lonsinger.

With Stallworth and Indians standout Myles Franklin sitting a large portion of the game, Lonsinger more than made up for their production from the guard spot. The senior finished behind only Stallworth on Thursday with 13 points.

Fellow Indians Colby Kaneshiro and David Rowden also contributed with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

“Our chemistry this year is great,” Stallworth added. “Coach Kelly has always said it’s all about our bench, and I agree. They make my life a lot easier.”

The Indians are now 8-1 to begin the season, with their only loss coming to Southern California powerhouse Westchester — currently ranked by Maxpreps.com as the No. 11 team in the state.

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