Kennett's No. 3 Kaytlyn Parker and No. 33 Mary Callaway look on as Kennett's Daqueshia Duckworth takes a contested shot. [Order this photo]
It is Kennett's second win against Portageville less than three weeks into the season. Kennett also beat the Lady Bulldogs 46-37 in the third-place game at the Lady Bulldogs Classic on Dec. 7.
"14 girls played their Lady Indians' hearts out," Kennett coach Rod Baxter said of Thursday's win. "They were relentless on almost every defensive set and forced the action on offense. They did not care who scored or who was playing. It was all about the team and it was exciting to coach it."
Kennett had 12 players score in the contest. Kate Shetley paced Kennett with 16 points. Lara Abmeyer added 15 more for the Lady Indians.
Eight of Kennett's 28 field goals were 3-pointers. Shetley hit four 3-pointers, Abmeyer drained three treys and Anna Kay Hilburn knocked down one trey.
"I loved the way we passed the ball around and the decisions we made after ball reversals," Baxter said. "We reversed the ball and then took 3's. We weren't forcing the 3-ball. Players like Abmeyer, Hilburn and Shetley were taking the shots after reversals. They weren't forcing it. That's the way we've got to play."
All 14 of Portageville's field goals were 2-pointers. Danielle Morgan led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with 10 points.
Kennett's record currently stands at 4-1. Kennett is 2-0 in regular-season Bootheel Conference play with victories against Portageville and Caruthersville. Kennett's other two wins came against Bootheel Conference foes in the Lady Bulldogs Classic.
"I'm happy with where we are right now," Baxter said of the start. "I keep telling them we have not reached our ceiling if we keep the mentality we are going to attack with 14 until we get Shon Wynne back. There is one ball and we've got to share the ball and leave the egos in the lockerroom. They are buying in and are pretty darn good when they play together."
The Kennett junior varsity dropped to 1-1 on the season Thursday when it suffered a 46-40 loss to Portageville.
Kennett will host traditional talent Doniphan in a Friday night showdown today at 6 p.m. Doniphan handed Kennett a season-ending loss in the Class 3 district semifinals last season.
"Those revisit games are always exciting," first-year coach Baxter said of playing Doniphan. "Some of the faces have changed on every team this season. I feel like it might be a battle of wills because we've played two this week and Doniphan has played one. They do have to travel. I don't think our girls will give in the Kennett gym on anything. I think they want to be their own team and their team this year. I look for the girls to arrive fresh, rested, be ready to go and give a good Friday night effort."
Kennett 69, Portageville 35
KHS 22 13 23 11 - 69
PHS 8 6 6 15 - 35
KENNETT (69) - Jenny Lockhert 1, Kaytlyn Parker 2, Darby Sparks 8, Anna Kay Hilburn 4, Logan Vaughan 7, Lara Abmeyer 15, Khadijah Whitfield 4, Kenna Hounihan 2, Kate Shetley 16, Mary Callaway 2, Courtney McElhaney 6, Daqueshia Duckworth 2. FG 28, FT 5/13, F 17. (3-pointers: Shetley 4, Abmeyer 3, Hilburn 1. Fouled out: none)
PORTAGEVILLE (35) - Jill Kellams 4, Jenna Hawkins 2, Jennifer Ifland 8, Taylor McCoy 9, Danielle Morgan 10, Jelisha Minnis 2. FT 14, FT 7/14, F 10. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none)