By Matt Parrino
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Kenmore West coach Mike Meetze wondered before the season how deep his bench would go once Niagara Frontier League play began.
On Friday night he got a glimpse into how good that second unit can be, as the Blue Devils beat Grand Island 78-23 at home.
After the Blue Devils (1-2) dropped their first two games against top Monsignor Martin teams, Meetze was happy to finally notch a ‘W’ in the win column.
“It’s nice to get our first win of the season,” he said. “I loved the way we came out tonight. I thought our energy was excellent and contagious. The guys worked hard on the defensive end which we didn’t do too well (in our first two games). I thought we hit the boards hard, got to loose balls and took charges.”
The Blue Devils utilized a balanced attack on the offensive end to take out the Vikings. Three players scored in double digits for Ken West and freshman Terrell Ford and Nick Phillips each put in eight points to lead the bench effort for the Blue Devils.
“We went 10 deep and it’s good to get the bench involved,” Meetze said. “I was happy for Terrell tonight because you don’t really know what you’re going to get out of a freshman. I get on him about the little things but you saw him tonight, battle through it. He’s going to be a big part going forward and I think down the stretch he could emerge as our sixth or seventh man off the bench.”
Ken West center Quinton Campbell dominated in limited action for the Blue Devils, scoring 13 points and 11 rebounds in only about 20 minutes. The senior’s athletic ability was evident on both sides of the floor with his passing and ability to alter shots from his perch under the basket.
Meetze said that Campbell makes things easier for his teammates.
“You have to game plan for him,” he said. “When guys double him he makes everybody else’s life so easy. Those back door cuts are there because he’s there — we didn’t get those last year. And he’s a good passer.”
Senior forward Shay Cuadra played well on both ends, scoring 13 points and registering two big blocks. Early in the second quarter, shortly after Grand Island halted a 17-0 Ken West run that put the game out of reach, he turned the ball over at the top of the three-point arch, leading to a Grand Island fast break. He showed off his speed and athleticism when he recovered and tracked down Vikings guard Ryan Ross, swatting a lay up and getting the West crowd on its feet.
Cuadra was whistled for a foul, but his effort and motor made his coach
“Shay didn’t get a lot of time last year because he was still learning the system,” Meetze said. “(Tonight) He was making extra passes and I yelled at him to shoot the ball. He’s so athletic. He had a couple of blocks out of nowhere tonight too. I mean, the sky is the limit for him and he’s just finding himself as a player.”
Junior guard Alex Price scored 10 points and Ross led the Vikings with eight.