PASTING THE DRAGONS
The King George Dragons were sobered last week when their 27-1 record was sullied not just by a loss but by a blow-out of a defeat. On Friday night at Kitsilano, the No. 5 AA Dragons dropped a stunning 85-49 game to the No. 8 AAA Demons.
Kitsilano opened scoring off the tip and never looked back. Their starting line stood a full head taller than the Dragons and the question was always how these two teams would match up.
Luka Zaharijevic, listed on the Kitsilano roster as six-foot-six and 250 pound 17-year-old, simply outpowered the Dragons' inside players and banked in a game-leading 27 points.
Kits slowly dismembered their opponent's offence by beating them at their own game. Stewan Annan and Tom Campbell tore up the score sheet from the perimeter (each had nine from the arc for 13 and 14 total points, respectively). Kitsilano shot a remarkable 65 per cent from deep, dropping 15 of 23 threepoint attempts. Annan opened the second half with a steal, drew a foul on the basket and sunk the conversion.
"When you're doing that and you've got the size inside, that's a pretty tough combination to stop," said Kitsilano coach Randy Coutts. "There's no doubt they're a good team, we didn't underestimate them and the guys were ready to play."
Kits had a one-point edge after the first quarter but outscored the Dragons 22-10 in the next 10 minutes. The Dragons couldn't close the gap.
"We played good D," said Coutts. "As soon as they got down a bit, I thought they were going to get after it and cause some problems."
They didn't. But KG's coach Darko Kulic is drawing on the positives. "Honestly, I'm really glad it happened right now because nobody wants to go into playoffs winning 30 games in a row. You get ahead of yourself. I'm not saying my kids did, but this is a wake-up call. It was a really good test. We'll take the positives from it. It's good that we saw some stuff that they do and we'll prepare better. I got it on video," he said, laughing. "When you're down by 30, it's not easy to cheer from the bench but we don't give up. We'll stay positive. We'll see 'em again and I'm looking forward to our next game against them."