Phil Anastasia: Kerr sparks Moorestown past Cinnaminson, 84-62
The senior scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half, and the Quakers cruised.
Wes Kerr's growth involves a lot more than his height.
The Moorestown guard stands taller than ever in many ways - skill set, command of the game, confidence on the court.
Kerr's remarkable jump from role player as a junior to leading man as a senior for one of South Jersey's most underrated teams was on full display in Moorestown's impressive, 84-62 victory over Cinnaminson on Thursday night.
Kerr controlled the fast-paced Burlington County League interdivision clash from the opening tip, scoring 19 of his 23 points, grabbing five of his seven rebounds, and dealing four of his six assists in the first half as the Quakers broke to a 49-28 lead.
"This is my year," Kerr said after Moorestown evened its record at 1-1 with an eye-opening performance in Cinnaminson's little gym. "We definitely want to do it big this year."
Kerr was no one-man show, as Moorestown built leads as large as 67-36 on a Cinnaminson team that entered play with a 2-0 record while averaging 80.5 points.
Senior forward Alex Howard led Moorestown with 24 points, converting three traditional three-point plays and making two three-point jumpers. Howard also had seven rebounds.
Senior guard Zac Frantz had seven points and four assists. Junior guard Anthony Bonnet had eight points and five rebounds.
The Quakers' 1-3-1, half-court trap created turnover after turnover, leading to transition basket after transition basket. For good measure, the visitors were 5 for 5 from three-point range in the first half.
"This team can really run," Moorestown coach Shawn Anstey said. "We got out and ran. We were able to beat them down the court."
The first thing that's different about Kerr from last season is his height. He's 6-foot-3 now.
But it's his game that's really shot up. Kerr didn't move into the starting lineup until the middle of last season. He was an average player for an average team - no slouch, but no star, either.
Kerr was the clear focus of Moorestown's game on Thursday, using his long arms and athleticism to create problems for Cinnaminson's guards on the top of that 1-3-1 trap, and dishing or scoring on fastbreak after fastbreak.
"I really worked hard on my game in the summer," Kerr said. "I played every day with my brother in Avalon. I feel like it made me a lot better."
Kerr's brother, Garrett, was a first-team, All-South Jersey player for Middle Township last season. Garrett Kerr moved with the boys' father, former Flyers star Tim Kerr, to the family's residence in Avalon so he could attend Middle Township.
"It was kind of weird having him down there and me here," Wes Kerr said. "But it worked out for him."
Garrett Kerr signed with University of the Sciences, a Division II program in Philadelphia. The school also is recruiting Wes Kerr, so the brothers might finally play together in college.
"That would be great," Wes Kerr said. "We've played together a lot in leagues and in the summer but not on a sanctioned school team."
The younger Kerr looked a lot like his brother, especially in his ability to fill up the box score. Garrett Kerr was All-South Jersey because he did a little bit of everything for a Middle Township team that finished 28-3 and won the South Jersey Group 2 title.
Wes Kerr was doing the same kind of stuff against Cinnaminson, scoring on short jumpers and strong inside moves, but also finding open teammates with smart passes and rebounding in traffic.
"He's so much more confident," Anstey said. "He knows it's his team, although with Alex's and Zac's. You can just see how much he's improved his game."
Moorestown 21 28 20 15 – 84
Cinnaminson 11 17 12 22 – 62
M: Wes Kerr 23, Zac Frantz 7, Cal Mackelbauer 2, Anthony Bonnet 8, Jake Flanery 4, Alex Howard 24, DeAndre Montgomery 2, Eric Poinsett 4, Seth West 4, Yuseth Green 6.
C: Xavier Wilson 17, Dan Haddon 11, Tim Kemmerle 3, Chris Kirby 6, Kevin Sotell 8, Matt Wood 2, Matt Gono 2, Jackson Merget 13.