SANDY SPRING, Md. (WUSA) -- Kennedy finished first at the 1UpHandles Inc. Holiday Tournament on Thursday with a 51-46 win over Sherwood.
Their close victory puts the Cavaliers at 7-2 on the season, with one of their two losses being to Sherwood on December 21.
We caught up with Kennedy head coach Diallo Nelson after the game to talk strategy, defense and how he hopes to lead the Cavaliers to a successful season in one of Montgomery County's most competitive districts.
PHOTOS: Kennedy Tops Sherwood 51-46
USATodayHSS: On December 21, you lost to Sherwood, 52-41. What does that add to today's win?
Nelson: It just means that the kids are learning. I always say basketball is probably played 70 percent above your shoulders. We looked at film, we looked at the mistakes we made and they capitalized on it and they did a good job executing the game plan.
USATodayHSS: What would you say your biggest strengths on offense are?
Nelson: We played tonight with a lot of guys who get some time, but not a lot. And it just showed me that we have depth. In the past we haven't had that much depth ... that's important for us.
USATodayHSS: During the game you said: "Alright let's play." Why is that your reminder to your players during games?
Nelson: We're a team who is more comfortable playing against a man to man. We just play then, we're not thinking about it, we run our offense, we execute it. When teams play a zone, for some reason, they think, "Okay, let's turn into robots. Pass here, run there, do this." No, just play.
USaTodayHSS: What's your goal for this season?
Nelson: We play in the toughest division. We don't have a team in our division right now with a losing record. So I always say okay, let's try to win the division. Let's try to do that. Then after that, let's think about region. Then, after that, hopefully we're good enough, we're mature enough to get to the states.