Kennett's Darby Sparks pushes the ball down the floor. [Order this photo]
Kennett tallied 10 points in the first quarter, 11 in the second quarter, 14 in the third quarter and 17 in the fourth quarter.
"We were not allowing ourselves to get deep in our offensive sets early in the game," Kennett coach Rod Baxter said. "The shots didn't fall outside and it started getting a little chaotic on the defensive end because Hayti was at home and they were making some shots.
"It was a low-scoring game," Baxter continued. "I don't think a low-scoring Kennett-Hayti game is a good thing for Kennett. I think we are capable of scoring a few more points, but we didn't engage our offense and get it worked down low the first half. When we did reverse the ball we got backside lay-ups like we did when we played Portageville a week ago."
Neither team led by double digits at any point in the Bootheel Conference regular-season contest. Hayti's largest lead was 18-12 with three minutes remaining in the first half. Kennett's largest lead was 51-45 with 1:38 remaining in regulation.
Kennett ended the first half on a 9-2 run to take a 21-20 lead at halftime.
"Some coaches back off I think at the end of the half," Baxter said. "I think that's the time you need to get your team into the lockerroom feeling better about themselves. You've got to attack the last two minutes of the half."
Kennett never trailed after taking a 31-29 lead with 2:45 remaining in the third quarter.
"We just didn't step it up when we needed to in the end," Hayti coach Marlana Hughes said. "I don't know if they were discouraged, but the ones that normally score at the end did not. Greniqua Rodgers normally comes through for me in the end and she was taken out of her game. We just didn't push until the end."
Kenna Hounihan led Kennett in scoring in the fourth quarter for a second straight game. Hounihan calculated eight of Kennett's 17 fourth-quarter points against Hayti. She finished with a team-high 15 points three days after tallying 18 points for Kennett in a 52-46 loss to Doniphan Friday.
Greniqua Rodgers drained all three of Hayti's treys. Rodgers paced Hayti with 17 points. Dyamon Tipler added 14 more for Hayti.
"A big part of the game was Anna Kay Hilburn and Kenna Hounihan defended their best perimeter player down the stretch," Baxter said. "We decided we had to really play her tight and help off."
Kennett shot 15 of 23 for the free-throw-line. Hayti was seven of 15 from the free-throw-line.
"I thought we hit the free throws tonight in the end," Baxter said. "We missed a bunch of free throws tonight in the first half in my mind."
Lara Abmeyer and Kate Shetley picked up their fourth fouls with more than five minutes remaining in regulation, but never fouled out.
Baxter said his team remained less than 100 percent healthy.
"We did not have Darby at 100 percent so we were subbing out at point guard," Baxter said. "We had early help from Kaytlyn Parker and Khadijah Whitfield.
"Logan Vaughan contributed and got some points on the board," Baxter continued. "We also had really good play out of Jenny Lockhert. She hit two free throws in the fourth quarter wearing one contact after being on the bench for a while. That probably helped us pull this one out."
Dadrionna Gorman drained two free throws with four seconds left in the junior varsity game to break a 31-31 tie and help propel Hayti to a 33-31 win against Kennett.
Kennett's varsity (5-2) improves to 3-0 in regular-season Bootheel Conference play with the victory. Hayti (1-3) is currently 1-1 in regular-season Bootheel Conference play.
Hayti returns to the court Wednesday at 6 p.m. when it plays at New Madrid County Central.
"It's a long year and we've got plenty of time to improve," Hughes said. "I think the girls see their potential and Kennett will definitely see us in the finals of the conference tournament."
Kennett is back in action Thursday when it hosts Senath-Hornersville at 6 p.m. The Kennett varsity girls basketball program has not lost a regular-season or tournament game to a Bootheel Conference team since Feb. 17, 2010, when Senath-Hornersville defeated Kennett 50-43 in the championship of the Bootheel Conference Tournament. Kennett defeated Senath-Hornersville 44-38 in both teams season-opener of 2012.
"We had them on a neutral court the first game," Baxter said. "We will see what happens because I've had two different teams the last two games. Tonight we had a team that wasn't fully engaged in the game and played somewhat lethargic. If we drop back to Friday at home against Doniphan we played all-out all-the-time. I would like to have the all-out all-the-time game Thursday. Senath-Hornersville will prepare because they know what we do. They went against us at the Lady Bulldog Classic and I'm sure they were not happy with the outcome of the first game so we've got to dig and be really strong."
Hayti's Dadrionna Gorman attempts to block a shot by Kennett's Logan Vaughan. [Order this photo]
KHS 10 11 14 17 - 52
HHS 13 7 11 17 - 48
KENNETT (52) - Jenny Lockhert 4, Darby Sparks 7, Anna Kay Hilburn 4, Lara Abmeyer 7, Logan Vaughan 4, Kenna Hounihan 15, Kate Shetley 9, Courtney McElhaney 2. FG 18, FT 15/23, F 18. (3-pointers: Abmeyer 1. Fouled out: none)
HAYTI (48) - Dadrionna Gorman 1, Dyamon Tipler 14, Jermika Covington 4, Keandra Sharkey 1, Ashley Williams 4, Bobbie Luster 7, Greniqua Rodgers 17. FG 19, FT 7/15, F 20. (3-pointers: Rodgers 3. Fouled out: Luster)