Fife edges Kennedy Catholic for title
By Gerardo Bolong
Toree Thomas’s lay up gave the SPSL 2A Fife Trojans girls basketball team a 41-37 lead on NPSL 4A Kennedy Catholic with 26.5 seconds left to provide the deciding basket in a Sterling Shootout championship victory on Fri., Dec. 28, at Kennedy Catholic High School.
The Lancers scrambled to draw within 41-40 when Mikayla McAllister homed in on a top of the key three-ball 20 seconds later.
Kennedy forced a turnover at 5.7 seconds before being unable to launch a final shot.
“I felt that Fife really played hard,” said Lancer head coach Greg Caldwell. “Until tonight, we’ve played well. The girls were a little hesitant and we didn’t execute our offense. Same on defense. We were drawing out things we’ve never tried before. They really took us out of what we normally do.”
The Lancers worked the offense reasonably well for close in shots to lead 9-2 before advancing to the second quarter with a 9-6 margin. Trojan turnovers were prevalent, although the Lancers had problems converting good shot opportunities.
Both teams struggled to even the score again until McAllister drained a three-point goal midway through the frame.
This ignited Kennedy Catholic into further offensive achievements. Avery Watkins was fouled inside and drained two free throws before angling home an outside goal. McAllister’s free throw completed an eight point Lancer run that created a 17-6 control with 2:28 until halftime.
Lancer hopes started traveling south after Alyce Sprenger sandwiched two three-pointers around a Mikaila Wise free throw to cut the KC lead to 17-13.
Hailee Simpson leftied in an outside shot and Lexi Lerwick made a free throw to make a 20-13 Lancer halftime margin.
Kennedy tried to slow the pace for more ball movement in n a half court offense as KC built the lead to 22-14.
Taking advantage of missed Lancer short shots and the near absence of KC rebounds on both ends of the court, the fighting Trojans hit a three-pointer before countering a Lancer basket with an 11-0 surge to end the third quarter in a 28-24 advantage.
Fife scored the first two points of the fourth quarter, but McAllister scored five points in a row to get Kennedy within 32-31.
Following five straight Trojan points, Kennedy’s Madison Stanley-Jones torched a three-point goal followed quickly by Nina Hanney’s three-point play and proceedings were tied at 37-37 as 2:30 showed in regulation.
A Trojan put back basket preceded the Thomas goal in the stage setting for the final flow.
Progress is being made for KC.
“We have three freshmen and the girls play really hard,” concluded Caldwell. “They’re a fun group and really get along together. We’re getting better. These game are to work things out for league.”
All tournament McAllister utilized four three-point goals and a 12-point fourth quarter to finish with 16 points. Watkins, who also made all-tournament, worked hard for a dozen points.
Fife scoring was more spread out with Thomas notching 10 and all tournament Sprenger bombing a trio of threes for nine points.