Blakley gets hot, helps Larkin hand Bartlett 1st UEC loss

By Allen Oshinski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/6/2023 11:09 PM

In a game of runs, Larkin made the last one.

Tied with Bartlett at 55, the Royals reeled off 9 straight points to go up 64-55, and went on to win by that margin, 69-60, Friday night.


Jakob Blakley exploded in the second quarter, scoring 17 of his game-high 25 points and leading Larkin to a 29-point quarter in an Upstate Eight matchup in Bartlett.

Javion Stewart scored 12 points, Darnell Wilder 11 and Adrian York 10 for Larkin (6-9, 4-3).

Larkin dominated the even-numbered quarters, scoring 50 points combined in the second and fourth, while Bartlett had the advantage in the odd-numbered periods.

Blakley also won the battle of highly touted junior guards, outscoring the Hawks' Kelton McEwen, who had 18 points.

McEwen scored 9 in the first quarter as the Hawks built a 22-11 lead. But Blakley and the Royals came storming back in the second. Blakley's 3-pointer tied it at 30 and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Stewart put the visitors ahead.

"We've seen it in practice, but when he gets going, it's next level," Larkin coach Deryn Carter said of Blakley. "We've had next level guys, but he might be even more next level than anybody we've had in the past. And he got it going in that second quarter."

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Carter felt Blakley was pressing a bit early on and sat him down for a couple minutes. He returned with a vengeance, knocking down three 3-pointers to lead the Larkin comeback.

"I was talking to coach D and he said to just relax," said Blakley, who was in just his fourth game back from injury. "So I just relaxed and tried to find my stroke."

Bartlett's defense clamped down again in the third period, holding the Royals to 8 points although Larkin still led 48-46 at the end.

A layup by Nathan Scearce (12 points) tied it at 55 before Blakley, York and Stewart combined for the next 9 points.

A layup by Stewart off a feed from Adrian Jones put the Royals ahead to stay. Blakley made a jumper, York made a steal and a transition layup, and Stewart added another 3-point play to make it 64-55.


Keegan Kunzer added 10 points and Rabi Banipal contributed 9 points and 10 rebounds for Bartlett (13-4, 6-1).

Larkin's defense eventually clamped down, holding Bartlett to 38 points after the first-quarter explosion.

"Our defense was phenomenal," said Carter. "[Jasavion] Rogers Sowers did a great job on [Scearce], he's a great player. And then switching Adrian onto [McEwen], he gave him fits. He still got his points, but he worked his butt off."

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