By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON Despite a game-high 27 points from senior guard R.J. Rosa, the Sullivan West Bulldogs could not overcome the balanced scoring attack of the visiting Walton Warriors in Monday night’s non-league basketball game at SW High School.
Walton (1-0) held a 39-26 lead at halftime and went on to record a 63-51 victory in a contest that was the first of the 2009-2010 season for both squads.
Leading Walton to the win were seniors Steve Kaminsky and Dan Gehl.
Kaminsky had a team-high 22 points, including a trio of successful shots from beyond the 19-foot, 9-inch arc. Gehl added 10 points, most of which came down low in the post.
Justin Knapp and Tyler Magnis added nine points and seven points, respectively, for the Warriors.
Walton took its biggest lead of the night, 50-31, when Magnis made a 3-pointer with 4:35 to go in the third quarter.
“It was a good game,” Walton Coach Gary Williams said. “Sullivan West is a very good team and they are well-coached. R.J. [Rosa] played a great game.”
Williams also praised his team, specifically Gehl and Knapp.
“Dan Gehl did a nice job,” he said. “Justin Knapp came in off the bench and gave us some good minutes and points.”
Naturally, SW Coach Cliff Kelly and his players would have liked to begin the season on a winning note. But the veteran coach noted that his team is relatively young and was playing against a quality opponent.
“They have a lot of seniors back and they were a 16 and 2 team last year,” Kelly said of the Warriors, a Section IV Class C team from neighboring Delaware County.
Rosa, who made four 3-pointers in the game, is the Bulldogs’ only returning starter from last season.
“R.J. had a nice game and Lucas Bauer did some good things,” Kelly said.
“It was our first game of the season and some of our younger players will need to step up as we move along,” Kelly added. “But we did some good things out on the court tonight.”
Bauer finished with 12 points, while juniors Mike Durkin and Alex Manzi netted five points apiece for SW (0-1).