Patton scores 26 as Kennett girls basketball shoots its way past Malden 45-12

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Pictured left to right Kennett's Anelle Harris, Malden's Jada Townsend, and Kennett's Katara Raiford eye a rebound in a varsity girls basketball game at Malden Thursday night.

MALDEN, Mo. - Hot-shooting by junior Caroline Patton set the tone for the Kennett Indians varsity girls basketball team from the get-go Thursday night.

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Kennett's Ara Spielman takes a contested shot against the Malden defense in a varsity girls basketball game at Malden Thursday night.

Patton opened the game with three consecutive 3-pointers as Kennett surged ahead of the host Malden Green Wave 9-5 by the 4:31 mark the first quarter.

Kennett's Caroline Patton takes a 3-pointer in a varsity girls basketball game at Malden Thursday night.

The offensive success continued for the Indians early on. Kennett increased its lead to 20-7 by the end of the first quarter and led by double digits the rest of the way as it won at Malden 45-12.

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Malden's Madison Mittag handles the ball against the Kennett defense in a varsity girls basketball game at Malden Thursday night.

“The first half is probably as good as we have been all year, especially the first quarter,” Kennett coach Aaron New said. “I thought Caroline shot the ball well and two or three other girls made some buckets. One of our challenges all year has been scoring. When you can find a way to do that it makes things easier.”

Kennett also enjoyed success on the defensive end. The Indians allowed just two field goals after the first quarter, helping it pad its lead to 30-9 by halftime and 43-9 by the end of the third quarter.

“I thought our press was OK,” New said. “We got some turnovers off our press. But I was even more impressed with our half-court zone. We forced them to make shots and controlled the boards tonight.”

Patton tallied 14 of her team-high 26 points in the first quarter. She knocked down five 2-pointers, four 3-pointers, and made four of the six free throws she attempted.

“They put a lot of strain on our defense by shooting the ball so well early,” Malden coach Josh Herring said. “We weren’t out of it completely after the first quarter. We just couldn’t find a way to match them scoring-wise tonight.”

Sophomores Kyra Jaco and Anelle Harris were the next highest scorers for the Indians. They both recorded six points.

Madison Saulsbery hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter and a 2-pointer in the fourth quarter to pace Malden with five points.

Arionne Ross added four points for the Green Wave. She made a pair of two-point baskets in the first quarter.

Malden (3-7) returns to Bootheel Conference play next week when it hosts Senath-Hornersville on Jan. 13 and South Pemiscot on Jan. 16. The Green Wave are currently 2-1 in Bootheel Conference play after beating Caruthersville 62-53 Monday night.

“We’ll try to build off the Caruthersville win we got earlier in the week,” Herring said. “We want to try to put this one behind us and keep moving forward. Maybe we can get back on track against conference teams next week and forget about the bad shooting night we experienced tonight.”

Kennett (7-6) visits Dexter (2-10) Monday. The Indians beat Dexter 40-32 in the seventh-place game of the SEMO Conference Tournament on Dec. 5.

“That will be a good test on their home court,” New said. “We got them the last time so you know they will be ready for us. They’ve got a good club and we better come ready to play.”

Kennett 45, Malden 12

KHS 20 10 13 2 - 45

MHS 7 2 0 3 - 12

KENNETT (45) - Caroline Patton 26, Katara Raiford 1, Kyra Jaco 6, Kate Chitester 2, Anelle Harris 6, Kaniya Madlock 4. FG 17, FT 6/18, F 9. (3-pointers: Patton 4, Jaco 1; Fouled out: None).

MALDEN (12) - Arionne Ross 4, Deniya McCaskill 2, Allison DeArman 1, Madison Saulsbery 5. FG 5, FT 1/7, F 11. (3-pointers: Saulsbery 1; Fouled out: None).

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