Girls varsity team sweeps two-game series with Edgren
By Greg Mitchell, FLEACT, Yokosuka, Public Affairs
Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka’s Nile C. Kinnick hoopsters from both boys and girls varsity teams took to the court Dec. 15-16 against the Robert A. Edgren Eagles, with mixed results.
In front of a near-capacity crowd, the night began with the varsity girls 33-26 victory. Led by the point guard play of junior Alicia Allen, who scored 21 points and six assists, the team was overly aggressive throughout. After a slow start, they began to turn it up after a close first half.
With Edgren leading 20-17, head coach Heather Lee Heatherly called a timeout with 4:17 left in the third quarter to make offensive adjustments. From that point, Kinnick proceeded to run off 12 straight points and by the end of the quarter the team held a 29-20 lead.
Carla Johnson had five steals and five rebounds. Alicia Martinez added six rebounds to pace the Lady Red Devils. Edgren remained competitive to the last whistle, but still came up short.
“Today we had good defense and played more as a team,” said Heatherly. “I saw a lot of patience on the part of the girls, which was better than last game. If we take care of each other, we can do a lot of special things.”
The night did not go as well for the varsity boys during a sea-saw battle featuring several momentum changes.
Edgren closed out the first half with a 17-14 lead that featured a tightly contested defensive battle between both squads.
During a tightly contested first half, head coach Robert Stovall called a timeout to make defensive adjustments in the second quarter at 3:49 with Edgren leading 25-20. Edgren proceeded to score a 2-point basket. Then guard Lavance Rolland took the ball inside and was fouled. After going to the line and successfully hitting both free throws, he hit a 3-pointer on the next series, cutting the Edgren lead to 27-25. After an over-the-back call with 1:01 remaining in the half, guard Casuan Cauddle ties the game at 27-all with his layup, but again Edgren took the lead to close out the half, 31-29.
Early in the second half, forward Kyle O’Brien scored with a layup that gave Kinnick their first lead of the game, 35-34. He then followed this with a 3-pointer to increase the Red Devil lead to 38-34 with over four minutes left in the third. Edgren regained the lead, 39-38, with two-straight field goals and going one of two from the free throw line. Sophomore guard King Lewis hit the last basket in the third, tying the game again at 41-41.
Center Rynn Yates was fouled seconds into the final quarter and went to the line to make one of two to again give Kinnick the lead. That would be the last time they would threaten, as Edgren began to pull away and proceed to a 67-57 win.
Rolland scored 21 points to lead the Red Devils. Yates had 12 points and Jabari Johnson had five points.
“They may not feel better after this game but I do,” said Stovall. “Tonight we saw a little more progress being made by our boys. We just have to keep fighting.”
In the second game, the boys’ progress again showed but still came up short against the pesky Eagles. Edgren ended the first half with a 27-20 lead. Rolland started the second half with a basket, then stole the ball on the next series and scored again. Yates 2-point bucket tied the game 27-27 with 6:16 left in the third. After an Edgren three-pointer, Rolland is fouled, hits both free throws then scored again to give Kinnick its first lead of the game, 31-30.
Rolland struck again with a highlight reel no look assist to Yates to make it 33-32 Kinnick. O’Brien followed up with two key free throws from the line to tie the game again at 35-35.
Edgren struck back with their outside shooting, hitting two consecutive three pointers to again take a 38-36 lead.
A power outage with 2:46 left stopped play, eerily similar to what happened at the New Orleans Superdome during Super Bowl XLVII – for approximately 30 minutes. The game resumed and Edgren prevailed again for a second straight victory, 60-50.
Rolland led all scorers for the second consecutive game with 14 points and three steals. Cauddle had 11 points, five assists and five steals and O’Brien had 10 points to round out the top performers.
Tough defense, solid ball rotation and scrappy defense spelled victory for the Lady Red Devils as they took the rematch against Edgren, 56-23.
Lead by the 20-point, five steal performance of junior guard Shakita Samuels, Kinnick closed out the third period, 34-16. Two back-to-back steals by Samuels early in the fourth led to a 38-16 lead, resulting in the team cruising all the way to the last buzzer. The win propelled the Lady Red Devils to a 4-1 overall record for the season.
“We were awesome today!” said head coach Heatherly. “Everybody stepped up! Our all-around play was just superb.”
Alyshia Allison had 11 points and 7 assists. Junior guard Rhyssa Hizon had eight points and junior forward Ray Duncan had 10 rebounds to complete the dominance.
“Today we took a huge step because we learned to communicate more,” said Samuels. “I think we have just started to play to our potential, and we can do so much better. Our goal is to win the Far East Championship, and I believe that we can.”