By Chris Zadorozny
Despite having both of their top stars playing with injuries, the Kennedy girls’ basketball team (4-5, 3-4) battled all night, and used a strong fourth quarter to win on the road over the Trenton Trojans (3-7, 2-6).
Both Daija Anderson and Asia Page were batting injuries (sprained ankle and sprained knee), but both powered the Eagles to a 48-42 victory.
“It was nice to see the girls come together and pull out a win, in a tough environment,” said Kennedy Head Coach Jeff Baum. “It’s a tough gym to play in. They (Trenton) just beat Wyandotte last night, so it was a big win for us.”
Even with injuries, both Anderson and Page combined for over half of their teams’ points, as well as half of their teams’ rebounds.
Kennedy took a quick 9-4 lead to start the game, thanks in part to both Anderson and Page, and held onto a 12-9 lead going into the second quarter. They powered their way back to a five-point lead, but then the Trojans’ Kaylie Crowell started a rally. She sunk one of her three free throws around the five minute mark. On the third one, she missed, and was able to steal it off Page on the rebound, and bank it in for two more points. Just like that, they were only down by three.
Kennedy was trying to regroup, and then the Kennedy bench was assessed a technical foul, resulting in another point on a free throw from Crowell at the 3:52 mark of the second quarter. Twenty seconds later, Izzy Olds stole the ball and put it up to Crowell, who was fouled, resulting in another two shots. She only made one with 3:23 left, but it pulled the Trojans within one point.
Crowell would nail a triple to give the Trojans their first lead of the game, up 17-15 with 2:04 to go in the half. The Eagles tied it up 20 seconds later, but the Eagles finished the half up 20-19, thanks to a triple by Miranda Walker.
The second half is where the team’s picked up their physical play. The third quarter featured seven combined fouls, but a 35-32 lead for the Eagles heading into the fourth quarter.
Working off of a small rally at the end of the third quarter, Rachel Arnold pulled the Trojans within one point, but they couldn’t quite re-take the lead.
“They hit big shots, we make a run, they get back and then we just couldn’t close that out,” said Trenton Head Coach Rob Sauter.
The Trojans did tie it back up at 41 with 2:41 to play, but that’s where the Eagles took the lead and didn’t look back. Page hit a triple with 2:22 to go, and then Anderson found the basket for two with 57 seconds left.
“It gave us some confidence, we started knocking down some shots, and I thought we did a better job defensively in the second half, matching up with their shooters,” said Baum.
“Their big girls played so well tonight, very, very active and we just really struggled,” Sauter said.
Fouls marred the final minute as the Trojans looked for something to get back in, but in the end, Rosemary Nnangobya hit both of her free throws to put the game away with seven seconds to go.
Despite the loss, Sauter was pleased with his team’s performance. “It’s tough when you have to go back-to-back nights too, we played last night. But honestly, I thought we played really well, we just have to play better defensively.”
Crowell finished with 15-points and three rebounds to lead the Trojans. Walker had seven points and two boards, and Shelby Kohler had six points and seven boards for Trenton as well.
Page had a game-high 17-points and eight boards, while Anderson scored 15-points and contributed seven boards. Page also had three blocks and a steal while Anderson had one steal.
The Trojans will travel to Lincoln Park on Thursday to battle the Railsplitters at 7:00pm, while the Eagles will battle the Jaguars on Thursday at 7:00pm in Allen Park.
To read the original article that appeared online on The News-Herald, on January 15, 2014, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald