Kennett advances to championship in blowout win

By Nathaniel Ford

FARMINGTON – The Kennett girls cruised past Franklin 51-24 in the semifinals of The Bash. 

It was stout defense played by the Eagles that propelled them to a victory. “We knew they had some kids that could score, and our focus was putting our top two defenders on #12 [Kourtney Kaplan] and trying to limit her,” said head coach Larry Meader. 

The Eagles came out hot to open, going on a 10-0 run in the first two minutes of the game. They carried this momentum out of a Franklin timeout and continued their dominance. Stellar defense and transition offense were the keys in the quarter, and Kennett led 24-4 going into the second.

“Offensively we just wanted to get out and run. That was the best job we’ve done just getting out on the break and having kids release down the floor,” said Meader. 

Meader’s squad was led by two players. Kaley Goodhart poured in 12 points in the quarter, and Samantha Sidoti added 10 of her own. 

The second quarter started much differently than the first. The Eagles were held scoreless until 4:30 was on the clock, when Sidoti got a bucket inside. During that time, Franklin went on a nice 6-0 run, which cut the lead to 14. 

Kennett pulled away once again at the end of the quarter, holding Franklin scoreless for the last five minutes. Behind two three-pointers from Goodhart, they entered the break up 35-10. They were paced by her game-high 18 points. 

With such a big lead, some teams get complacent and allow a comeback. The Eagles showed no sign of that happening. “We’ve had big leads before and watched them disappear. They’ve learned that they’ve got to keep the gas going and to stay on them” said Meader. 

The Eagles only extended their lead in the third quarter. They continued to play great defense on the Golden Tornadoes and continued to run the break exceptionally well. Behind a 7-point quarter from Sidoti, they entered the break with a 49-20 lead. 

The game was out-of-reach entering the fourth quarter, with Kennett up nearly 30 points going in. Both teams were held scoreless through the first three minutes of the quarter, with Franklin’s Kourtney Kaplan stopping the drought. 

When the final buzzer sounded, it was a resounding 51-24 victory for the Eagles.

Leading the way for Kennett was Kaley Goodhart and Samantha Sidoti, who both recorded a game-high 20 points. Franklin was paced by 12 points from Kourtney Kaplan, and Lily Cornell added 6 points of her own. 

Kennett will advance to the championship game tomorrow at 1:00 against the winner of Farmington vs. Profile. This is familiar territory for them, as last year, they fell to Coffee County in the title game. This year, they look to flip the script and come away with the trophy themselves.

Check out the photo gallery by KJ Cardinal…