Hot-shooting Lions win third straight

Vanguard nets 19 of 32 three-point tries to throttle Canadian squad in Bill Reynolds Classic.

December 30, 2011|By Barry Faulkner

COSTA MESA — Vancouver Island Coach Tony Bryce had a two-word description for the arsenal of three-pointers imposed upon his team by host Vanguard in round-robin play at the four-team Bill Reynolds Classic on Friday.

"Lights ouwt," Bryce said with his thick Canadian accent, after Vanguard's 104-67 triumph at The Pit.

The Lions scored the first nine points of the game on three-pointers, made 10 for 13 from beyond the arc in the second half (76.9%) and finished 19 of 32 from distance for the game (59.4%).

The 19 three-pointers were a season high, as was the point total for Coach Rhett Soliday's Lions (9-4).

Christopher Kupets made his first four three-point attempts and had five three balls in the first 4:45 to help the hosts seize leads of 21-4, 31-9 and 42-17. Kupets finished five of nine from threedom for most of his 17 points.


Senior reserve Chris Pynch made four of six three-point tries on his way to a game-high 19 points, while senior Taylor Kelly netted all three of his long-range offerings en route to 14 points.

Sophomore reserve Brendan Holmes also was four of six from three-point range on his way to 12 points and senior Christopher Raybon was two for four from threedom on his way to 16 points.

Even junior forward Christino Zaragoza added a long ball, his first three-pointer of the season, as the Lions increased their season three-point proficiency from 36.6% to 39.2%.

"They were a tough guard on the perimeter," said Bryce, whose team fell to 5-7. "I didn't know they shot the ball that well. I knew a couple guys could sling it, but tonight it seemed like they were all shooting it well and that makes any team hard to guard. When you shoot [nearly] 60% from the three-point line — and some of those were deep and some of those were challenged — you've got a good chance of winning."

"The reality is, we do rely on the three ball a little and if we don't shoot well from the perimeter, we're going to struggle," said Soliday, for whom four of the top six available players average a shade below 6-foot. "We do have a lot of guys who can shoot, and when we get clean looks ..."

But Soliday was impressed with more than his team's shooting eye.

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