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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

CCHS Wins Allen Holiday Basketball Classic

No matter how cool it must seem to dunk a basketball, you only get two points. The Allen Canaries found that out the hard way last night when their hopes of winning the William Allen Holiday Basketball Classic were crushed by Allentown Central Catholic in a battle before a packed house. It was a shootout between Central's Zay Jennings (29 points) and Allen's Talek Williams (24 points).

But it was much more than that as the lead changed throughout the game. Central was down the first quarter 15-12. But it was up at the half, 26-24. The Canaries finished the third quarter leading by just one point, 42-41.

And then there was an explosion. It was not the shattered glass that sometimes comes with a dunk. It was sophomore guard Jay Vaughn, who turned the momentum in Central's favor with inspired play. Three threes and another three 2-point baskets. In addition to his 15 points, he had a steal, three crucial rebounds and three important assists.

He was wearing a headband last night, and should consider wearing one the rest of the season. He only missed on two shots.

Kevin Kern was also a force under the boards, with at least four assists and one steal.

Allentown might have a hockey arena, but it really is a basketball town. Both sides of the gym were packed with all kinds of fans as well as players from other schools. They were treated to a great game. I sat with an old-timer Canary fan who told me story after story about their program. I saw Wall2Wall's Chuck Rockmore, whose son Dante is playing for Dieruff. He started with a lot of these kids when they were in first grade.

"It's all about the love," he said.

But that love only goes so far. At the half, when the announcer reported that the Eagles had just fired Chip Kelly, the entire room burst into applause.

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