Corey Alexander isnt the excitable type. He has a calm, matter-of-fact way of conveying important messages to his Todd Beamer High School girls basketball team.
But he also doesnt shy away from the truth. He recognizes after capturing the SPSL South title a season ago, then returning this year to upend league powerhouse Mount Rainier earlier in a crossover game a lot of eyes are now on the Titans.
And they are taking it all in stride.
Continuing their roughing-up-the-SPSL-North tour, the No. 3 Titans handled Kentwood, 53-40, in the early game of the King Showcase tournament at the ShoWare Center in Kent on Monday.
Beamer (14-0, 10-0 in SPSL South) started out making 11 of its first 19 field goals, survived a strong Conquerors push to start the second half, but seized control for good with a 12-0 run over a four-minute stretch.
"Our girls, for being so young, they are kind of mature as basketball players. They dont panic, Alexander said. Weve kind of set the stage for them, Hey, weve got the target on our back now. Theyve kind of accepted it.
Liesa Young putback of Quinessa Caylao-Dos free throw capped the run to give the Titans a 41-25 lead with 3:07 remaining in the third quarter.
Jalynn Piper led Beamer with 12 points. She highlighted the Titans early strong shooting by sinking half of the teams four second-quarter 3-pointers as they bolted out to a 26-18 advantage at the 5:35 mark.
Megan Huff, a 6-foot-3 senior, added a double-double (11 points, 13 rebounds). Caylao-Do also had 11 points. Jenny Johnson paced Kentwood (9-3, 7-2 in SPSL North) with 12 points and nine rebounds.
"The way our team is, we have enough players offensively that if one person if off, someone else will be on, Huff said. We have good players everywhere. It makes it nice.
Somebody didnt tell the teams they were playing a 9 a.m. game. Both were sharp early. Johnson had half of her points in the first quarter, giving the Conquerors a 14-13 lead.
But Nia Alexanders short jumper in the lane at the buzzer gave the Titans the lead for good 17-16.
"Got to give them credit they have a great, athletic team. And it is well-rounded, its not like it is just one or two people, Kentwood coach Lisa Ashley said. We did a nice job. There were a lot of good things we did a lot of good ball movement, We are still coming together as a team.
Getting Kate Kramer (knee) back earlier this month should give Kentwood a needed boost down the stretch of the SPSL season.
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442