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Eagle hoop girls move to 10-0

Wins over Brady, St. Thomas keep Eagles rolling

LAUREN WHITE (left) and Lauren Kidder battle a Bishop Brady player for a rebound in action Jan. 26 in North Conway. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 31, 2011
NORTH CONWAY — Traditionally, the Kennett girls' basketball team has struggled at St. Thomas.

"Normally we go there and have a slow start and get into it partway into the game," said coach Peter Ames. "And then we can't get over the hump."

That, however, was not a problem for the Eagles on Friday, Jan. 28, as they jumped out to a 17-2 lead over the Saints after one quarter and went on to a 52-37 win.

While the final score was a 15-point difference, meaning the two teams were even through the final three quarters, the Saints cut the lead to six or seven points on a couple of occasions, making nothing easy for Ames' kids.

"It was a fairly close game at times," he said. "They're a good club, certainly better than the first time we played them."

The veteran coach was pleased with his team's defensive effort and was also happy with how his team moved the ball around on the offensive end of the floor.

Melissa Frase dished out nine assists as the Saints came out to put the pressure on her and Allie Wagner in the Eagle backcourt. That meant a big game from Lauren White inside, as the sophomore put in 15 points on the night. Wagner added 22 points to the score.

"(Having Melissa back) changes the way people have to play you," Ames said.

Ames walked away impressed with the Saints as well.

"They're a team that will be difficult tourney opponent for whomever plays them," the Eagle coach said. "They've played a lot of good teams, their schedule has been tough."

Ames noted that the Saints were the best team his squad has played since Frase returned to the lineup, so it was good for her to see some time in that atmosphere as she gets back in game shape.

"That was a big win for us because we don't usually play well there," Ames commented.

The Eagles had a much easier time of things on Wednesday, Jan. 26, as they easily dispatched a visiting Bishop Brady squad, 76-24.

Brady actually scored the first hoop of the game, but the Eagle defensive pressure allowed only two more points the entire first quarter.

A hoop from Sam Meader tied the game at two and a three-point play from White made it 5-2. Wagner hit back-to-back hoops, finishing off a Meader steal on one and her own steal on another, then Frase sunk a three-pointer. Wagner hit another hoop and Frase finished off a steal. Casey Blakely got a rebound and a hoop and Wagner drained a three-pointer, giving Kennett a 21-4 lead after one quarter.

Wagner netted the first three points of the second (hoop and a foul shot) to make it 24-4 before Brady hit a three-pointer. Jessie Wagner hit for two and Frase finished off an Allie Wagner steal for a 28-7 lead.

After a Brady free throw, Allie Wagner hit three three-pointers in a row to stretch the lead to 37-8 then finished off a Meader steal. Meader hit a hoop and Blakely hit another before the Giants got the final hoop of the half. Kennett led 43-10 after two quarters.

Allie Wagner hit the first three points of the second half and Lauren Kidder followed with three of her own. After another hoop from Allie Wagner, White had a free throw and a hoop before Brady finally got back on the board. Meader hit another hoop and Jessie Wagner took a nice pass from Frase to the hoop for two.

Frase hit a three-pointer and Blakely hit a bucket to push the lead to 63-14. Jordan Murphy then brought the crowd to its feet with a long three-pointer at the buzzer, giving Kennett a 66-14 lead after three.

After a Brady free throw to open the fourth, Jessie Wagner hit for two. Kaitlin Taylor then scored the Eagles' final eight points of the night and Kennett finished off a 76-24 win.

"The good thing was, we needed to get Melissa some court time," Ames said. "She sees the floor so well that it starts to open things up for the other kids."

Ames noted that the Eagles have not pressed defensively for much of the season because of Frase's absence. Without her, he was worried that Allie Wagner might get in early foul trouble on the pressure defense.

"That gives us a little more flexibility defensively," he said. The Eagles pressed in the first quarter but didn't after that.

Ames was pleased with everyone that got in the game, noting Blakely was solid defensively and Taylor did a good job inside as well.

"Everyone who goes in, I expect them to play well when they're out there," Ames said. "If they go out there and do nothing it's not going to translate into time in a different game.

"They played hard and did a nice job," he added.

Allie Wagner finished with 29 points, while Frase added 10 and Taylor had eight.

The Eagles will travel to Plymouth on Tuesday, Feb. 8, for a 6:30 p.m. contest.

Salmon Press
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