DELRAN--- All it took was one 3-pointer to lift Jordan Kendrick’s focus.
The St. Augustine senior headlined a strong defensive performance in Sunday’s 69-38 win over Cinnaminson at Holy Cross Prep.
Kendrick allowed Cinnaminson’s JP Rickus to knock down one triple at the start of the first quarter, and then he locked down to limit the opposing guard’s production.
“I just thought I couldn’t let that happen again,” Kendrick said. “I just had to stay up in his grill and force him to put it on the floor before shooting. That’s what I had to do.”
Kendrick’s teammates joined him in defensive dominance in the third quarter, as the Hermits held the Pirates to seven points.
“Me and Jordan being captains we really have to push the defense,” St. Augustine senior Charles Solomon said. “As Cole Vanderslice always tells us, defense is a pride thing. You’re not going to let the man in front of you score and Jordan did his job on that.”
While the defense was busy stopping Cinnaminson, the St. Augustine offense continued to roll.
Behind Solomon and Andrew Delaney, who combined for 41 of the Hermits’ 69 points, the Hermits extended their 13-point halftime advantage to 21 points after three quarters.
“We definitely took pride in (the defense) because that got our energy going in that third quarter and we were able to maintain that for the rest of the game,” Kendrick said. “That was a good spurt for us.”
With Solomon, Andrew Delaney and Matthew Delaney on the boards, the Hermits were able to create plenty of second-chance opportunities, and it’s an asset that’s going to help in the stretch run of the season.
“God bless Matt and Andrew,” Solomon said. “They always hold it down. Defensive rebounds are crucial. Coach always tells us if they have more offensive rebounds than you, they’re going to win the game. Defensive rebounds are crucial, especially this time of year.”
While Sunday’s performance was solid, the Hermits know they can improve on every single facet of the game between now and the start of the postseason.
“We can get better in every aspect of the game, but I think we can work on our defense a little more and get more stops,” Kendrick said. “Our defense turns into our offense in most cases and working on that should be big for us.”
“I would say just making each other better,” Solomon said. “I think we can all do that and make each other better defensively and understand the game a little more. There’s some times when we kind of slow down and in the playoffs that can’t happen.”