The gym at Kent City High School could have been temperature controlled off the scorching hot shooting of the Kent City Eagles, alone, on Tuesday night in their opening match of post-season play.
Any energy savings that were accumulated earlier in the week were quickly spent on Thursday night as the Eagles went stone cold much of the night when they faced the Hesperia High School Panthers in the semi-final.
The Eagles managed to create open looks through their offense early and often, but were unable to capitalize. Shot after shot was off the mark and, at times, fans could have been forgiven for wondering if a prankster had fastened plastic wrap over the rim.
In lieu of their trademark three point barrage, the Eagles relied on their defensive pressure to separate from their opponent. The Eagle press kept the ball on the Kent City side of half court most of the evening and gave the cold shooters plenty of time to warm up the rims for Friday’s third clash of the season against Morley Stanwood. So, despite significant shooting woes that most fans of the Eagles have rarely seen in recent years, Kent City led 34-7 at the half.
The uncharacteristic shooting may have been a timely, though unexpected, positive. The early shooting woes meant Eagles had to call upon additional scorers further down the typical stat sheet than junior standouts Kenzie Bowers and Jenna Harrison. The Eagles got their primary offense from underclassmen Lexie Bowers (Kenzie Bowers’ freshman sister) who was also aided in stretches by sophomore Taryn Preston. The pair will undoubtedly have to contribute as significant scoring options when the Eagles move on to face state ranked competition later in the post-season, should they advance that far.
Lexie Bowers finished the Game with 19 points and Preston Finished with 7. Harrison finished with 10 points and K. Bowers ended the night with 13 points; an altogether quiet evening for the duo on one of the few remaining nights this season that they will not be needed to be electric in order for the Eagles to advance.
Despite the obvious shooting slump, Kent City managed a 61-26 victory while running through substitution lines and getting JV call-ups some varsity action for much of the second half.
Kent City will undoubtedly have to shoot better on Friday to secure their third win over the Mohawks this season. After a blowout first matchup, the Mohawks played a tighter game just a few weeks ago and will look to build on that performance Friday evening at “The Nest.”