After a matchup in recent weeks in which the Lady Eagles dismantled the previously undefeated Mohawks of Morley Stanwood, the second contest proved to be a more closely fought game.
The biggest difference in the rematch between KCHS and MSHS was undoubtedly the shooting percentage by the Kent City girls.
In the first matchup, the Lady Eagles seemed unable to miss and took advantage of blistering three point blitzes to set up full court pressure. Conversely, they seemed unable to make even lightly contested layups and open three point buckets in the second matchup between the squads.
That is not to take away from the effort put forward by the Morley Stanwood girls team, who came ready to play and applied as much pressure as they could muster in an attempt to upset the #2 ranked class C group. The group undoubtedly put a scare into the visiting fans that the Eagles would let one slip and Kent City found themselves down early before mounting large runs to gain and defend the lead the rest of the way.
However, the lack of made baskets kept Kent City out of their press most of the way, and while little changed in the way of scoring for the Mohawks compared to the first game, the team managed to put together a more controlled game.
Even without their press or offense being difference makers, Kent City’s half court defense kept Morley Stanwood off the scoreboard most of the evening and the Eagles took the win in a low scoring affair: 42-30. The Eagles can clinch the conference championship with a win in at least one of their final two remaining conference games.
Kenzie Bowers (19 pts) and Jenna Harrison (17 pts) combined for all but six of Kent City’s points.
The Kent City boys took the hardwood in the second game of the evening and hoped to squeak out another victory against second place Morley Stanwood.
The Eagles jumped out early thanks in large part to senior forward Will Wright who was a one-man wrecking ball to the Mohawk defense. Wright has really come alive in recent weeks and become a reliable offensive scoring weapon as teams look to take away fellow seniors Eli Carlson and Max Hudson. Wright has shown he is fully capable of stepping into the role of the top scoring threat when called upon and managed to propel the Eagles early in the game through offensive rebounds, post play and hard takes in the paint.
The Eagles took a thin two point lead into the half 26-24 after a last second heavily contested layup attempt by Mohawk guard Axel Woolworth seemed to defy physics and drop off of the iron at the buzzer.
However, Woolworth and fellow Mohawk guard Aiden McLaughlin were able to crack through the Eagle defense, that kept them largely at bay in the previous meeting, through an inside-out game that eventually gave Morley Stanwood the lead on a fouled three point attempt by Woolworth and a technical foul, which put the guard at the line for five straight free throws and gave the Mohawks possession. Morley Stanwood was also aided in holding off any Kent City attempts at a comeback with a big second half by Ryland Nelson who put forward a big run that helped maintain the lead going into the fourth.
Kent City attempted you make a run in the second half that cut things to single digits, but never got closer than a multi-possession game. The Mohawks snatched the victory in the conference rematch, 59-51, but Kent City still controls their destiny and will simply need to win remaining contests against Hesperia and Holton to win the CSAA conference championship.