Matthews, Carroll lead Kennett to 56-35 win01/26/2024 11:00AM ● By Richard Gaw
Photo by Richard L. Gaw Mia Matthews’ 18 points led the Kennett Bue Demons varsity girls’ basketball team to a 56-35 win over Avon Grove on Jan. 20.
By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer
The Kennett High School Girls 2023-24 varsity basketball team, under the direction of Head Coach Vince Cattano, is not particularly blessed with the gift of height, nor highly possessed of speed and a look up and down its roster indicates a well-balanced collection of scorers.
Yet, as its 56-35 victory over Avon Grove on Jan. 20 clearly demonstrated, the team has jumped out to a respectable 9-6 overall record on the back of grit, determination and patience, led by their floor general Mary Carroll and the game’s top scorer Mia Matthews, who collected 18 points in the win.
“They play hard regardless of the score,” Cattano said of his team. “They compete and sometimes shots drop and sometimes they don’t, but their mindset is always the same – to play hard and be good teammates,” “We are little but we are scrappy, and I think it makes up for some of our deficiency in height.”
Head Coach Bart Connor’s Avon Grove squad’s zone defense shut down their opponents on Kennett’s first three offensive possessions of the game, but with five minutes remaining in the quarter, Greta Burns’ three-pointer opened the Blue Demons’ scoring, and after a Carroll layup and a three-pointer by Quinn Simmons with 2:53 left, Kennett had jumped out to an 8-1 lead.
After a time out with 1:43 remaining, Connor called timeout, which was followed by the Red Devils’ first points on a basket by Naiya Murphy with 1:18 remaining, who then converted a three-point play.
After holding the Red Devils to just three points in the first quarter, Kennett employed an effective full-court press that led to several Avon Grove turnovers. On the other side of the court, the Blue Demons accounted for 23 points in the quarter that was highlighted by Burns’ second three-pointer of the game, a stolen pass by Matthews that led to a basket and a stolen pass by Carroll that she converted into a layup with 2:28 left in the half that helped give Kennett a 34-15 lead at halftime.
The third quarter, however, belonged to Avon Grove, who outscored their opponents 13-8 on three-pointers by Murphy (15 points) and Brooke Huver (9 points on three three-pointers), but Carroll continued to engineer the Kennett offense while scoring 8 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].