Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Qualls-Betts' threes spark Cambridge over Brockton
By Brendan Hall
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The quick release, 60-degree arc and sharp follow-through of Kyroe Qualls-Betts might as well be a hand-me-down. For years now, the Cambridge senior guard has sought out the guidance of his older brother, former Falcons great Nathan (a fine sniper himself), to the point where head coach Lance Dottin muses, "He came to us as a good shooter."
Qualls-Betts, the Falcons' 6-foot-1 marksman, was 5 for 9 from deep, part of a 17-point performance in a 60-44 stomping of Brockton (12-6) at the War Memorial Recreation Center last night.
"When he gets fired up, it feels good for the rest of us," said senior forward Deondre Starling, who had 16 points and nine boards. "We see him on the floor and we know he can shoot, and he had some pretty good shots for us today."
Said Qualls-Betts, "When we start nailing down three's, that opens up the post game, so it's easier to kick the ball inside to Jacquil (Taylor), easier for him to score."
And while nobody will question the momentum-shift Cambridge's 6-foot-9 super-sophomore center Jacquil Taylor can turn when he's loose out there -- against the Boxers, he quietly came close to a triple-double (11 points, 11 rebounds, eight blocks) -- expect Qualls-Betts to become that much more important a factor, as opposing defenses continue to try and pack it in with the type of zone looks that delivered Somerville a shocking upset over the then-No. 3 Falcons last week.
"I'd have liked him to hit even more," Dottin cracked about Qualls-Betts. "I mean, the guy was open, we've got to be able to find him. That's what he does, I mean when he's open he can really shoot the ball. He's got a very good stroke, and when he's open he's shooting with confidence, like tonight, which was nice to see.
"But that's not all he can do. Kyroe can move the ball when he needs to move the ball. He can put the ball on the floor when we want him to put the ball on the floor."
Up 25-19 at the half, the Falcons opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run led by Qualls-Betts, who first fed Taylor for a powerful two-handed slam in the post, with a laser of an entry pass from the top of the key. The next trip down, junior Maurice Taylor rebounded his own errant jumper and reversed the ball to the other side, where Qualls-Betts calmly sank his third trey of the night from the left wing to make it 33-21.
At the five-minute mark, Qualls-Betts struck deep from the left wing again, this time on a kick-out from Jacquil Taylor, to make it 36-21 before the Boxers immediately cut it to 36-27 with back-to-back treys of their own from Jamal Reuben and Shane Sims.
That was the Boxers' last punch, as Qualls-Betts came down the floor on the next possession with yet another three to make it a perfect 3 for 3 for the quarter, and give them a 12-point lead that never cut to single digits again.
Cambridge lead by as much as 19 in the second half before the reserves battled off the final few minutes of regulation.