Second-ranked Kentwood knocks out Auburn Riverside, 61-45

  • BY Wire Service
  • Friday, January 23, 2009 3:52pm
  • Sports

Jessie Genger and the Kentwood High girls basketball team gave eighth-ranked Auburn Riverside a taste of its own medicine Tuesday night.

Genger connected for four 3-pointers, including back-to-back from long distance during a pivotal second-quarter swing, leading the second-ranked Conquerors past the Ravens 61-45 in a South Puget Sound League North Division showdown.

“There was a lot of momentum changes. I think we did a really good job responding to what they came at us with,” said Genger, who finished with 18 points. “When I’m open, I shoot. And it just went in a couple times in a row.”

That seemed to be the case Tuesday night for the Conquerors (10-0, 14-0), who hit on 7 of 16 from long range. In comparison, Auburn Riverside, which has made a living from 3-point range the last couple of years, hit on just 5 of 24 from long distance.

“We’ve been emphasizing to the kids to take the ball to the basket and try to get to the glass and not shoot so many threes,” said Auburn Riverside coach Ed Rosin. “We didn’t shoot nearly as many as we did in the first game.”

But even when the Ravens (8-3, 10-5) got close, there seemed to be an invisible lid covering the hoop.

“Shots just didn’t go down,” Rosin lamented. “On any normal given night, those shots go in. How many times do you see Mercedes (Wetmore) and these kids take the ball in on a layup and miss?”

The game played out much like the Dec. 11 matchup between the two rivals, which Kentwood won 65-48.

Auburn Riverside took an early 8-2 lead only to see Kentwood end the first quarter on a 17-5 run. The Ravens cut the deficit to 22-21 early in the second quarter, when Kentwood’s Genger and star Lindsey Moore led the Conks to a 12-0 run in less than two minutes.

Moore opened the assault with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, then followed with a 10-footer off glass. Genger followed with consecutive 3-pointers on assists from Moore.

The Conquerors kept the Ravens at an arm’s length the rest of the night.

“Kentwood’s playing phenomenal,” Rosin said. “They have such good balance. They execute so well in the half court. They play within themselves and play so much as a team.”

That team concept certainly came into play on Tuesday when Kentwood point guard Kylie Huerta was sent to the bench with foul trouble during the key second-quarter stretch.

The Conquerors, however, didn’t miss a beat, getting a game-high 20 points from Moore and seven off the bench from Liz Mills.

“This team plays with a lot of heart. And on top of that, we honestly have nine of the most unselfish girls that I have ever coached,” said Kentwood coach Keith Hennig, whose team clinched a playoff berth with the win. “They don’t care about who scores the most points (or) who has the most rebounds. They care about winning.”

Wetmore and Amanda Thomson led the Ravens with 10 points apiece.

Auburn Riverside’s Kat Cooper, a 6-foot guard, missed her fifth straight game with mononucleosis. She isn’t expected back until February.

“There have been a lot of things that haven’t gone Riverside’s way so far,” Rosin said. “We keep telling the girls, it will come around. It will turn around. Don’t count Riverside out.”

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