With senior post JaQuaya Miller and junior post Jordyn Jenkins leading the way, the Kentridge High School girls basketball team has a tendency to wear down its opponent.
The Chargers were challenged by Todd Beamer in the Class 4A NPSL championship game, but eventually the Titans wore down like so many of Kentridge’s opponents before them.
The Chargers (19-2) finished the third quarter on a 15-0 run to separate from the Titans (16-5) and went on to win, 78-51, here Saturday night.
“Sometimes we fall in love with the outside shot, and we were making them in the first half, and that kind of gave us a little cushion, but we weren’t getting the post touches that we needed,” Kentridge coach Brad McDowell said.
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“In the third quarter, we really focused on working it around and being more patient on offense, but also getting that post touch and really trying to get it inside where our strengths are, obviously.”
Jenkins benefited the most from the added touches, finishing with a game-high 30 points. And Miller, a Washington Huskies signee, poured in 19.
“Our guards (are) so good passing it up (the floor),” Jenkins said. “Dayla (Ballena) and Kiernan (Denckla) had a lot of really good passes, and I can catch really well, so it’s just good having that chemistry between the three of us.”
Jenkins scored seven of her team’s 15 points during the run that ended the third quarter.
“She was making some shots,” McDowell said. “She just has a real nice touch when she is shooting and when she runs the floor. As long as she finishes strong instead of getting a little bit too fancy, then we have a great opportunity to score.”
Denckla contributed in more ways than just passing. The junior guard finished with 10 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers in the second quarter that extended the Chargers’ lead to 13 at the time, and seemed to spark the team.
“Our kids really support each other really well,” McDowell said. “If one kid gets hot, we’re looking for them for a little while after that. Those 3’s just kind of pulled out their zone.”
Though the final score may not indicate it, Kentridge was challenged for a good portion of the game, which McDowell said only benefits his team as the postseason is set to begin. The Chargers did not lose a game during the league season.
“It’s huge,” McDowell said. “There are teams in other leagues that get, maybe not a nightly challenge, but a challenge every couple of games where they can kind of keep working on some things. It’s huge for our kids and our coaching staff just to see little things that we can implement.”
Todd Beamer coach Corey Alexander said fatigue played a big role for the Titans second-half demise.
“Jordyn and (JaQuaya) — they’re monsters,” Alexander said. “They pretty much just wore us out. For three quarters we hung, and that fourth quarter just got away from us.”
TB – Alisaundria Hardwell 4, Sharay Trotter 7, Kennedie Keeney 1, Halo Parks 9, Jayoscia Sears 5, Najahia Forks 2, Aaliyah Alexander 19, Brooklyn Humphrey 4.
K – Taylor Esperanza 2, Tiffani Pham 2, Hana McVicker 6, Kiernan Denckla 10, Dayla Ballena 7, Jordyn Jenkins 30, JaQuaya Miller 19.