CORNING - Corning used lockdown defense and a strong second quarter to top Bishop Kearney 62-44 on Monday in its home opener.
The Hawks found themselves down 11-10 after the first quarter when they went on a 8-0 run to start the second on the strength of two buckets from Jason Rodriguez and one from Ivan Jubilee and Myles Bankston which put them up 18-11.
“It took us a little bit to get used to what they did, we hadn’t had a chance to scout them because it was their first game,”Corning head coach Jon Fesetch said.
Rodriguez then scored five straight points, part of his 15 in the period, for Corning as the Hawks closed the quarter on a 8-4 run for a 29-17 lead at halftime.
“J-rod just knows how to win,” said Fesetch. “Anything it takes to win, he does. He took advantage of what was available to him tonight.”
The Hawks kept the pressure on in the second half, outscoring Bishop Kearney 14-9 in the first five minutes of the third quarter led by Jubilee who had five points as Corning took a 46-31 lead in to the third quarter.
Corning’s defense was up to the task in the final frame as Bishop Kearney never got any closer.
“The other guys who weren’t guarding the ball did a great job to provide help and that helped us force some turnovers,” Fesetch said.
Rodriguez finished with 22 points to lead the Hawks and Jacob Tober, Myles Bankston and Jordan Haggard all contributed 11 points.
Shikell Brown led Bishop Kearney with 17 points and Anthony Gray added eight.
With the win, Corning improves to 1-1 and will host Maine-Endwell on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.