Kennett recovers from slow start, beats Portageville 55-33 in first round of LRC

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Kennett's Katara Raiford handles the ball against Portageville in a first-round contest at the Lady Royals Classic at Twin Rivers High School in Broseley, Missouri, Saturday.

BROSELEY, Mo. - The No. 5 seeded Kennett Indians didn’t put together its best performance of the season but still found a way to escape with a win against the No. 12 seeded Portageville Bulldogs in an opening-round contest at the 16-team Lady Royals Classic Saturday.

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Portageville's Garielle Madison is guarded by Kennett's Mallory Morrow in a first-round contest at the Lady Royals Classic at Twin Rivers High School in Broseley, Missouri, Saturday.

Kennett outscored Portageville in each of the final three quarters after losing the first quarter by three points on its way to a 55-33 win at Twin Rivers High School in Broseley, Missouri

“I thought we gave a little better effort in the second half than we did in the first half,” Kennett coach Aaron New said. “Our effort in the first half was not very good. Take nothing away from Portageville because they outplayed us. They played harder than we did and made a great run on us late in the first half. Our press kind of wore them down a little bit and I was a little bit more pleased with how we played the second half. But if we don’t come out with more energy the rest of the tournament it’s going to be difficult for us moving forward.”

Kennett, which trailed 8-5 after one quarter, scored the first dozen points of the second quarter to move ahead 20-8 with a little under three minutes left in the first half.

Kennett continued to lead by 12 at 22-10 with one minute left in the second quarter before Portageville knocked down three consecutive 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 22-19 at halftime. The 9-0 spurt included a 3-pointer by Hailey Tipler and a pair of treys by Garielle Madison.

“We have some shooters on our team but we aren’t real confident sometimes,” Portageville coach Kellye Fowler said. “I think hitting one gave the other girls more confident and we got hot and made a few.”

Portageville managed just two field goals in the third quarter. Kennett scored the first seven points of the second half to increase its lead back to double digits at 29-19 with 4:44 left in the third quarter and led 37-24 by the start of the fourth quarter. The Indians also won the fourth quarter by nine points.

“I thought we played well in spurts,” Fowler said. “We came out flat in the second half. We had a really bad third quarter and just couldn’t get things going after that.”

Caroline Patton was one of three Kennett players to score in double digits. She made five 2-pointers, a pair of treys, and six free throws on her way to a 19-point performance.

Taleigh Harrell added 16 points on eight 2-point baskets and Kyra Jaco scored 10 points on five 2-point baskets for the Indians.

Madison paced Portageville with 18 points. She scored 14 points before halftime.

Portageville (2-4) plays Kelly (2-3) in a consolation quarterfinal Monday at 10:30 a.m.

Kennett (4-4) takes on district rival New Madrid County Central (5-1) in a quarterfinal Monday at 4:30 p.m. New Madrid County Central won the first meeting against Kennett 45-44 on Dec. 12.

“They are in our district,” New said. “We had a nice game with them the first time. Again, we have to give a better effort than we did today. Otherwise, we are going to struggle.”

No. 5 Kennett 55, No. 12 Portageville 33

PHS 8 11 5 9 - 33

KHS 5 17 15 18 - 55

PORTAGEVILLE (33) - Jauslyn Johnson 9, Chrissy Thomas 1, Garielle Madison 18, Hailey Tipler 3, Amiyah Saxton 2. FG 13, FT 3/7, F 9. (3-pointers: Johnson 1, Madison 2, Tipler 1; Fouled out: None).

KENNETT (55) - Taleigh Harrell 16, Katara Raiford 3, Caroline Patton 19, Kyra Jaco 10, Anelle Harris 2, Ara Spielman 5. FG 24, FT 4/8, F 9. (3-pointers: Patton 2, Madlock 1; Fouled out: None).

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