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Kennedy Catholic’s international connection too much for Cameron Co.

Trae Smith - Cameron County

Trae Smith of Cameron Co. challenges Kennedy Catholic’s Sagaba Konate during Tuesday’s game. Konate won the battle here and also in the game scoring 14 points to go with 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. – Photo by Paul Burdick

CLARION, Pa . – Cameron County’s fantastic 2015 season came to a close tonight with a 53-29 loss to District 10 champion Kennedy Catholic in the second round of the PIAA Class A boys’ basketball playoffs at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.

The Red Raiders (24-4) proved to be no match to Kennedy’s international flavor that included 6-foot-8 junior Sagaba Konate and his 6-4 sophomore brother, Mohammed, both of whom hail from the African country of Mali.

“Kennedy is a really good team,” Cameron County head coach Jon Songer said. “Give coach (Rick) Mancino a lot of credit. He has a nice collection of basketball players on his roster. Hermitage, Pennsylvania, must be a hot bed for basketball talent. Because they are a terrific team.”

The Konate brothers were as good as advertised with Sagaba, who has drawn recent interest from Pitt, scoring 14 points to go with 12 rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists. He was 6 of 10 from the floor in just 21 minutes of action. Mohammed, lankier and quicker than his older brother, added nine points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal in 20 minutes of play.

But while the Konate brothers were obviously a big key to the Golden Eagles success, the first-quarter play of sophomore Andrew Magestro, who transferred from Sharon after last season. Magestro scored 11 of his team-high 18 points in the opening quarter to help Kennedy (23-4) to a 15-6 lead at the end of the quarter.

Cameron, behind the play of Nate Sestina, kept things close through the second quarter and trailed 23-13 at halftime.

But Kennedy Catholic started to pull away in the third quarter outscoring Cameron 18-8 thanks to eight points from Sagaba Konate to take a 41-21 lead going to the final eight minutes.

Sestina finished his magnificent Cameron career by scoring 18 points on 5 of 9 shooting and 7 of 10 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds, four blocked shots and a steal.

But Sestina didn’t get much help, as the rest of the Red Raiders were 4 of 24 from the field and no one scored more than Trae Smith’s five points with three of those coming on the game’s first shot.

The biggest discrepancy for Cameron County was in the number of shots and rebounds. The Red Raiders were outshot 51-33 in the game and outrebounded 40-17 including 18 to four on the offensive glass. That led to 15 second-chance points for Kennedy Catholic.

Kennedy Catholic will face Monessen, who beat Portage, in the quarterfinals at a site and time to be determined.

KENNEDY CATHOLIC 53, CLARION 29

Score by Quarters

Kennedy Catholic 15 8 18 12 – 53

Cameron County 6 7 8 8 – 29

Kennedy Catholic – 53

Mohammed Konate 4-9 1-2 9, Andrew Magestro 6-15 2-2 18, Nick Tantuo 0-6 2-2 2, Channing Phillips 5-5 0-1 10, Sagaba Konate 6-10 2-2 14, Andre Campbell 0-5 0-0 0, Carmen Schuville 0-0 0-0 0, Cianci Nolan 0-0 0-0 0, Lima Nickolo 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Stanek 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Wilson 0-0 0-0 0, James Keay 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Kish 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Perrico 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 7-9 53.

Cameron County – 29

James Guisto 1-4 0-0 2, Trae Smith 1-8 2-2 5, Michael Slusarick 1-6 0-0 2, Nate Sestina 5-9 7-10 18, Vinny Olivett 0-1 0-0 0, Adam Shaffer 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Doud 0-0 0-0 0, Hunter Horning 0-0 0-0 0, Dominic Nellis 0-2 0-0 0, Bryce Bauer 0-0 0-0 0, Derrick Rieder 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 9-33 9-12 29.

Three-pointers – Kennedy Catholic 4-11 (Magestro 4-8, M. Konate 0-2, Tantuo 0-1). Cameron County 2-12 (Sestina 1-3, Smith 1-4, Nellis 0-1, Spehalski 0-4).



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