Easton completes series sweep in varsity basketball

WORTON — Kent County and Easton combined to score only nine points in the first quarter Thursday, a cold shooting performance that foreshadowed the snowstorm that was to shutter schools for the next couple of days.

The visiting Warriors, who led 6-3 after the opening eight minutes, soon warmed up on the way to a commanding 65-46 victory. They received double digits from Jakai Brooks, Marshall Bailey and Rayan Haq, who collectively outscored their guests.

Brooks scored 15 of his team-high 20 points in the final frame for the Warriors, who improved to 7-4 with a sweep of the home-and-away series.

Kent County junior JySir Valentine led all players with 24 points.

Larry Steward contributed 10 points, all in the fourth quarter after sitting for much of the first half because of early foul trouble.

Freshman Dwan Harris added 10 points and junior varsity call-up Rah Zir Wilson had the other two points.

Kent County (4-6) did not receive any bench points, while Haq alone gave Easton a big lift with 14 points as a reserve.

After scoring the first basket, the Trojans led only once more at 8-6 on Harris’ three-point play — running on to Jonah Somerville’s bounce pass in the paint for a finger roll layup and one — with 6 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the first half. 

Easton scored the next 10 points to pull ahead, 16-8, with 3:25 remaining before the break.

Valentine, the Trojans’ 6-foot-5, 230-pound “big,” swished a 3-pointer to halt the run at the 3:14 mark and drained a pair of free throws 37 seconds later to shrink the deficit to 19-13, but the Warriors closed out the scoring with nine of the last 11 points to take a 28-15 lead into the locker room.

Easton led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter, 32-15, before Valentine and Harris collectively scored seven unanswered points to narrow the gap to 32-22 on Harris’ driving layup with 3:38 remaining the quarter.

Another Valentine-Harris flurry cut the deficit to single digits, 36-28, on a pair of Harris free throws with 1:37 to play in the third quarter.

By quarter’s end, however, Easton’s lead was back up to 12 points, 41-29.

The Trojans trailed by at least 10 points the rest of the way.

Kent County travels this week to unbeaten Cambridge (Jan. 23) and Queen Anne’s (Jan. 25) before returning home Monday, Jan. 29 to square off against Kent Island. The varsity game tips off at 5:30 p.m.

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