SUMMIT, NJ - Game-in and game-out the Governor Livingston basketball squad can count on one thing typically being true - their opponent’s focus is on stopping Kevin Ferguson.
Indeed, the 6’9” center is an ominous figure among mere mortals who are approximately six feet tall.
But recently a few of his teammates have been finding that a blessing in disguise. With all the effort made to contain Ferguson, his teammates have an opportunity to shine. It’s a familiar phenomenon to Governor Livingston Highlanders' coach Steve Petruzzelli.
“People tend to concentrate on 6’9” guys, that seems to be normal,” coach Petruzzelli said after his squad notched their 11th win of the season beating the Summit Hilltoppers 68-53. “Summit put a lot of attention on Kevin. If (our other players) did not shoot it well, the score could easily have been reverse.”
Fresh in his mind was yet another strong performance by guard Logan Kelley, who scored 29 points on Friday – his third high-scoring game in as many games. He had 24 points in each of his last two games.
“Logan had a tremendous game,” Petruzelli said. “He shot it well. Once he gets in a good rhythm he’s tough. It made the Hilltoppers pay.”
That is not to say that Ferguson was a slouch. Ferguson scored 21 points on the night, despite going just 5-10 from the foul line, or sinking just 50% of his foul shots. The jury is out on why he’s fouled as much as he is – he just knows that when he’s at the foul line, he has to sink more of his shots.
“I think it’s just my size,” Ferguson said. “Lately I have been shooting a lot of free throws. I could have been better tonight and should have been better so… I just have to keep going.”
The Highlanders got off to a sluggish start. But in the second half they began opening up a lead that just kept widening. At the end of the third period the score stood at 50-35 in favor of the Highlanders. Frustration emerged on the part of the Hilltoppers in the fourth period as the Highlanders took a 20-point lead. The Hilltoppers fought back to narrow the gap, but time ran out.
“We came out hot in the second half and put them away and they couldn’t really recover,” Ferguson said.