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February 14, 2013 Peter McClelland
BYFIELD, Mass. -- There was nothing the St. Paul’s School could do about Joe Kuo.
The Governor’s Academy 6-foot-9 senior poured 38 points down on St. Paul’s (Concord NH) and led the Govs to a, 66-50, win on Wednesday afternoon in Independent School League action.
GA (10-7) led by only two points (29-27) at halftime but erupted with a 16-2 stretch to start the second half and never looked back.
In the early going St. Paul’s (4-13) had enough offense to stay with GA despite Kuo. Ethan Schlager (16 points) and David Smith (11 points) made three’s and Jared Neves (15 points) ran seven points in a row by himself. This collection of offense was part of an attack that put Big Red in front, 23-18, with 3:42 left in the first half.
The next two and a half minutes the steady flow of Kuo points kept coming (9 points) but there were no St. Paul’s answers. Cam Nobles added two free throws and the Govs had an eleven-point run and the lead (29-23) with 1:25 until halftime.
Two free throws by Jackson Gates (8 points) and a layup in heavy traffic narrowed the Govs lead to, 29-27, at halftime.
Kuo had points (six) but also involved was Stephen Basden (six) and Tate Jozokos (four). In the mix was a turnover that Basden took in for a jam.
This good spell of scoring gave the Govs a, 45-29, advantage. The rest of the way both teams scored 21 points each but the closest Big Red could get was, 56-45, with 4:17 remaining. Kuo (layup) and Nobles (two free throws and a layup) provided a quick response and any suspense about the outcome departed.
Kuo was very impressive. His game is not of the highlight-reel variety but he was a big factor at both ends.
Even tougher for Big Red was that often times they had Kuo blocked out but he could reach over players with his size and long arms and get rebounds anyway. More than a few times the St. Paul’s bench yelled to referees that Joe was going over Big Red backs.
Kuo had 19 points in each half.
Defensively Kuo had a number of blocks. Instead of trying to block shots into the stands he blocked them enough so that the Govs could create some quick offense.
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