The Kent City Eagles have reached the final four for the first time in program history with a convincing 52-19 victory over Schoolcraft in the Division 3 quarterfinal game played at Portage Northern High School on Monday night.
Kent City’s defense smothered Schoolcraft’s offense while holding their opponents scoreless in the first quarter to lead 10-0 after eight minutes. Emma Geers scored the first basket of the game inside, and then Kenzie Bowers connected from outside the arc. Taryn Preston scored the next basket inside off the break, and then Kenzie Bowers hit another triple to give the Eagles their ten-point advantage.
Kent City did not shoot as well as they did in last week’s regional final, but they continued to pound the offensive boards and use their defense to create turnovers. Lexie Bowers came off the bench late in the first quarter when Taryn Preston was whistled for her second foul and then scored the team’s first basket of the second quarter with a nice spin move at the corner of the lane before driving for a layup.
Schoolcraft’s first basket was a banked three with 6:40 remaining in the second quarter. The only other Schoolcraft basket of the first half was also a three-p0inter
Meanwhile, Kent City saw baskets from all over the floor. Jenna Harrison sized up a three-pointer shortly after Schoolcraft’s first basket, and Kenzie Bowers answered the other Schoolcraft basket with a pivot move in the paint. Lexie Bowers then connected on a three-pointer after her sister drew attention while driving down the lane before kicking it out for the open three. Schoolcraft then called a timeout with Kent City leading 20-6 with 3:09 remaining in the first half.
After the time-out, Maddie Geers had a nice putback after collecting an offensive rebound, and then Lexie Bowers hit another triple. Leading 25-6, Kenzie Bowers dribbled out the final seconds and finished it off with a step-back three from the top of the key to give Kent City a 28-6 halftime lead.
Maddie Geers scored seven third-quarter points including an old-fashioned three-point play off a fast break. She also scored on a nice post up move before scoring again from inside when she took a nice pass from her sister Emma along the baseline. That basket gave Kent City a 30-point lead, 43-13, heading to the fourth quarter. Kent City then outscored Schoolcraft 9-6 in the final eight minutes.
Kenzie Bowers led the scoring with 20 points. Lexie Bowers was also in double figures with eleven points. Maddie Geers finished the night with nine points, and Jenna Harrison scored six points. Taryn Preston and Emma Geers chipped in four and two points, respectively.
Kent City, now 20-0, will play in the second of two Division 3 semi-final games Wednesday at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University. The Eagles will face Calumet, also 20-0, in a game scheduled to begin at 12:30. The winner of that semi-final matchup will play once again at the Breslin Center for the Division 3 state championship Friday afternoon at 3:00.