Despite needing nearly 8 minutes to score its first field goal, visiting Todd Beamer rebounded with a strong third quarter to beat Kentridge, 39-27, in a Class 4A SPSL crossover game.
Trailing 7-3 and 19-10 after the first two quarters, No. 2 Beamer (11-1) quickly rebounded to dismiss any thoughts of a No. 8 Kentridge (11-3) upset with a 16-2 advantage in the third quarter.
“The first quarter … I don’t know how to explain it,” Beamer coach Corey Alexander said, “you know, but it shows a sign of maturity how they turned it around in the second half and leaning on each other. I didn’t yell at them too much at halftime. It was something they had to work out.
“We’re not coming in and being big, bad Beamer. Kentridge wasn’t going to back down, and they’re well coached. We finally woke up and played Beamer basketball.”
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Leading the way in the second half resurgence was senior star Nia Alexander.
The guard, who signed to play at the University of San Francisco and who averages 15.3 point a game, started off slow with just two points in the first half but rebounded for nine in the second half to lead all scorers with 11.
“We just realized we each had to do our jobs as individuals,” Nia Alexander said of the halftime adjustments. “We had to focus on defense and not be so stagnant on offense because it puts pressure on each one of us to take a forced shot when we know we can get a better shot. I think we all stepped it up the second half and tried to make better decisions.”
Also putting up 11 points for the Titans was senior MaKenna Woodfolk, who was 7 of 10 from the free throw line as the Chargers frequently fouled the towering 6-foot-2 center.
For Kentridge, it was a tale of what ifs and what could’ve beens.
Appearing bound for the upset, the Chargers were able to muster only eight points in the second half after rolling to a 10-point lead in the second quarter.
Sophomore Morgan Gary led Kentridge with eight points.
Despite the positives and negatives for each coach and team, Corey Alexander sees benefits for both teams in a game like this.
“I was talking to their coach before the game and saying it’s going to help us both out down the road,” Corey Alexander said of two top 10 teams in the state playing each other. “Good competition and our team learned how to dig within themselves and play hard. It was good for both teams.”