The No. 4-ranked Kentridge girls basketball team avenged its only loss of the season with a dominating 50-33 win over No. 3-ranked Kentlake on Friday at Kentridge High School.
The Falcons defeated the Chargers, 52-45, on Dec. 16.
Kentlake could have clinched at least a share of the 4A North Puget Sound League championship and the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs, but the Chargers made sure that didn’t happen Friday, leading by as many as 28 points in a game that was never close.
“I think last time they kind of got on us early,” Kentridge coach Bob Sandall said. “They’re such a big, strong, physical team, they just took it to us that time. I think our kids decided that we were going to turn the tide a little bit.”
The Chargers defense set the tone, holding the Falcons to 12 points in the first 21 1/2 minutes.
“The kids were inspired,” Sandall said. “They really played inspired defense. We’ve been working on that and all the fundamental things that we need to do. It’s especially a reward to do it against a team like this that runs their stuff so well.
“We were just in the right spots, we supported each other and we rebounded well. We were at least as physical as they were for most of the game, and I thought that kind of made a difference.”
The Chargers held Falcons senior guard Gabby Bruno, who averages 10.8 points per game and scored 18 in the earlier meeting between the teams, to three points, all at the free-throw line.
“She lit us up the first time, she was really good,” Sandall said. “She took me by surprise. We saw her on film and she looked pretty good, but she was really good against us. She was good tonight as well, but I think we were a little more cognizant of having to stick close to her and make sure everything she did was challenged.”
Sophomore 6-foot-4 post JaQuaya Miller led the way for the Chargers with 14 points, junior guard Morgan Gary added 10 and freshman post Jordyn Jenkins scored nine. The size of Miller and Jenkins frustrated the Falcons early and they were never able to solve the challenge the two created.
The Falcons’ only prior loss had been to No. 1-ranked Central Valley on Dec. 29. Their first league loss leaves the league championship up in the air with both Kentlake and Kentridge having two games to play.
“It’s a great win for our program, I don’t want to be a bummer about it, but it’s one game and now we have to move on,” Sandall said. “We’ll come back next week with that same effort and that same enthusiasm that we showed tonight. We’ll enjoy this for a while, but then we need to put it behind us because there (are) lots of good teams out there and we may see these guys again.”
No. 3 KENTLAKE
No. 4 KENTRIDGE
Kentlake: Anna Kruse 2, Kiernen Denckla 4, Aniston Denckla 8, Kylee Johnson 5, Aolani Talamaivao-Calderon 4, Gabby Bruno 3, Jada Leonard 7.
Kentridge: Taylor Jenkins 2, Bronte Fougere 6, Morgan Gary 10, Brooke Ziegenhagen 2, Tresai McCarver 4, Daylani Ballena 3, Jordyn Jenkins 9, JaQuaya Miller 14.