Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Carter and Kinslow. Kinslow and Carter.

Those are dirty words around Sherwood Christian Academy, where Ramello Carter and Banks Kinslow have haunted the Eagles all season.

They did it again Friday, right there in the Sherwood gym, where a standing-room-only crowd showed up for the rematch of the year between Sherwood and Deerfield Windsor. Carter and Kinslow had combined for 50 points in the first game -- a 70-52 DWS win on Jan. 11 that ended Sherwood's perfect season -- and SCA was determined not to let that happen again.

It didn't.

This time they scored 63.

"When they scored 50 in the first game, I thought that was unbelievable,'' said DWS coach Gordy Gruhl, who was still shaking his head a bit after watching his team blow out Sherwood, 90-48, on Friday. "They both played extremely well. They've been leading us all year, and they just took it to another level (Friday).''

Carter, who had 30 points at the end of three quarters and finished with 33, said he knew before the game he was going to have a big night.

"I could feel it in the warmups,'' he said. "I knew it was going to be that kind of night, and when I get in a zone like that, it's hard to stop me.''

He never slowed down, and hit the court in a flash, scoring nine points in the first two minutes to give DWS a 9-2 lead.

"He came out and he was so hot for the start of the game,'' said Kinslow, who had 28 points at the end of three quarters and finished with 30. "When I saw the way he was playing, you just think one thing: Give him the ball. When you get a player hot like that, I don't care if it's your grandmother in the stands, you give them the ball.''

Kinslow's grandmother (Wilma Kinslow) was in the stands, and probably enjoyed the rout as much as any of the DWS faithful who helped pack the gym for the rematch.

"It was packed like sardines,'' Banks said. "It was a great atmosphere. It was fun to play in a game like this one.''

It was a lot more fun for Deerfield (16-3 and 8-0 in Region 3-AAA), which clinched the top seed for the region tournament that starts Feb. 8. Sherwood (17-2 and 6-2 in the region) will settle for the No. 2 seed, and it's pretty likely the two rivals will meet again for the region title at Darton.

"I'm telling you,'' Kinslow began, "after this game (Sherwood) will go back in the gym and they will be ready to come at us in the region tournament.''

The Eagles would love another shot at the only team to beat them, but SCA coach Gavin Felix was pretty distraught after the loss.

"The only thing I want to say is that some players are fighters and some players are not,'' said Felix, who has done a remarkable job in his first year during SCA's transition from Class AA back to Class AAA this season.

Felix said he hopes his team is ready if SCA meets Deerfield again. He thought they were ready for Friday's game.

"We've done everything to prepare them,'' he said. "It's preparing mentally at this point.''

Sherwood simply had no answer for Carter and Kinslow, who combined to make nine 3s and made 21 of 32 shots from the field. Kinslow went 9 of 11 from the field, busted 3-pointers, dropped in 8 of 9 free throws, handed out two assists and made three steals.

Carter, who made 7 of 9 shots in the first half, went 12 of 21 from the field for the game and made all three of his free throws. He also made five steals, dished out four assists and grabbed two rebounds -- scoring on both in what he called the best game of his life.

"I don't know. It's just the rivalry (that brings out the best in me),'' Carter said. "It's the rivalry more than anything. You've got two schools in the same town, rivals going at it. It doesn't get much more fun that."

Sherwood was led by Gary Holloway, who had 13 points, and kept SCA in striking distance in the first half. He scored all six points for SCA in a 22-6 first quarter, then helped keep the margin at 16 at halftime (43-27).

SCA made a run early in the third and closed to 46-32, but DWS, which was knee-deep in foul trouble with three starters on the bench, got some big minutes from backups Zach Cleland, John Germany and Stanley Chen.

"I'm really proud of those (three) kids,'' Gruhl said. "You always tell them to be ready to play and they certainly (gave us some big minutes). We were really in foul trouble, and I looked up and it was down to (a 14-point lead). I know we had a big lead, but it didn't feel that way.''

The three subs helped spark a run that ended it. Cleland blocked three shots in a two-minute span to spark a DWS defense that forced six turnovers in that stretch, and Germany came off the bench to hit a big 3 -- and the Knights were off and running to a 31-12 third quarter that put the game away as DWS took a 74-39 lead into the fourth.

DWS has now won 12 in a row, and all of the games have been blowouts. But Gruhl, who wants to defend the AAA state title, knows what is ahead.

"We've still got a lot of work to do,'' Gruhl said.



About the only thing Sarah Shellhaas didn't do Friday night against Sherwood Christian was spend time talking about herself.

"The only reason I had such a good game was because of my teammates,'' said Shellhaas, who scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in three quarters to help DWS stay perfect in Region 3-AAA at 8-0. The Lady Knights are 17-4 for the season and can clinch the top seed in the region with a victory against rival Southland on Tuesday.

Afterward, Shellhaas let her coach do her talking.

"She's really doing a good job for us,'' DWS coach Ty Kinslow said. "She has really been rebounding the ball well. We've got some real good individual players, but we've really been playing well as a team, sharing the ball.''

DWS had big nights from Miranda Phillips (9 points), Candace Cosby (8 points) and Sabrina Curry (6 points) before Kinslow emptied his bench.

SCA (6-15 and 3-5 in Region 3-AAA) was led by Kaylee Dixon (13 points) and Maggie O'Connor (10 points).