Kriston Beasley has made many stops in his high school basketball career.The First Assembly senior said he’s learned lessons along the way that have allowed him to lead his new team to a 5-1 start.Beasley averaged 28 points per game in the Eagles’ first six games. His season-high 42 points against Metrolina Christian showed how much of a threat he can be.“Obviously he’s a scorer, but he’s one of those kids who plays solid defense; he’s averaging almost 10 rebounds a game,” said First Assembly coach Frank Cantadore. “He’s a do-it-all combo guard.”The 6-foot-2 Beasley can cause mismatches on the floor.“If they play someone big on him, he can take them to the hole. If they play someone smaller than him, he can post them up,” said Cantadore. “He’s just a versatile player, and that’s why he can score so much.”That versatility allows Beasley to start at power forward. He also sees time at point guard, on the wing and even at center when his Eagles need it.“He’s just a competitor,” said Cantadore.Beasley said that he’s constantly on the attack, having learned that settling for 3-pointers doesn’t pay off.“I’m looking to go to the basket more,” he said. “If the 3 opens up, then I’ll take it. But if it’s not there, I’m not forcing it.”Beasley has been a welcome addition at First Assembly after transferring from Queen’s Grant early this school year.The 18-year-old was Concord High’s junior varsity most valuable player in 2010, his sophomore year, and saw limited minutes on the Spiders’ varsity team that following season. Beasley said that after moving to the University City area, he enrolled at the Mint Hill charter school.“Going to Concord, of course they’re known for winning – so I learned a lot that I took to Queen’s Grant last year, and now, coming here,” he said.Beasley added that he’s seen what it takes to be a top player with the different teams.“I’ve learned about what it takes to get to where you want,” said Beasley, who was reclassified as a junior when he enrolled at Queen’s Grant. “A lot of players that I’ve played with have signed to big schools. I’ve seen that hard work and unselfishness ... that it takes to win.”Beasley said he quickly felt at home at First Assembly from the start. He’s one of five newcomers, including a few foreign-exchange students, for the Eagles.“We have almost a brand-new team, so it’s been an easy transition,” said Cantadore. “He makes it easy. He’s a good kid with a good attitude.”First Assembly had a lot of turnover since last year, returning only one starter – senior Nate Cantadore – from its 13-11 team.Coach Cantadore has been impressed with the way the Eagles have adjusted.“They’re coming together and really working together as a team,” he said. “They almost look like they’ve played together for longer.”Cantadore attributes that to his team’s maturity.“We have a lot of seniors,” he said, “so that experience helps. I just have really good kids this year.”Nate Cantadore, a shooting guard, started the year second on the team in scoring, averaging 18 points per game.Senior Stefan Fundic, a 6-foot-6 center, has also stepped up offensively, averaging 13 points.Coach Cantadore said that Peter Gusa, the team’s point guard, has done a good job of distributing the ball and has also stood out defensively. Junior Bryan Murr has had a good year on the defensive end after playing on the Eagles’ junior varsity squad last year.“Everyone on the team is getting a good feel with each other,” said Beasley. “Everybody has confidence in each other.”Lacking depth, Cantadore hopes the Eagles continue to work hard in practice and get in better shape to play at a high level for four quarters every game. He hopes that will put First Assembly in contention for a state championship in February.“As long as we keep playing hard and keep this intensity that they’ve shown going, I think the sky’s the limit for this team,” said Cantadore.
Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012
Senior transfer relies on experience to lead Eagles
First Assembly’s Kriston Beasley averages almost 28 points after six games
Senior transfer Kriston Beasley has led First Assembly to a 5-1 start. The 6-foot-2 combo guard averaged 28 points per game during that span. SERGIO TOVAR - firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior transfer Kriston Beasley hopes to use his previous basketball experience to lead the First Assembly Eagles. SERGIO TOVAR - email@example.com