Kenmore's Essence Bell (center) battles Tina Johnson (left) and Mishae Roper (right) of Firestone for a rebound. The Cardinals upset the defending City champions 42-38 on Monday night.
AKRON, Ohio -- The Kenmore Cardinals made an opening night statement Monday in Akron City Series girls basketball.
Kenmore grabbed a second-quarter lead and made it stand up in defeating two-time defending City champion Firestone 42-38. The victory snapped the Falcons' 27-game City Series win streak.
At the preseason media luncheon earlier this month, Kenmore coach Yontami Jones said that her team was "coming after Firestone" this season.
Come after them they did.
Kenmore lost to the Falcons three times last season. The players on this year’s Cards team knew that fact. “Our girls were ready and they needed the win -- they needed it,” Jones said.
Firestone jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead after 90 seconds of the opening quarter on a pair of 3-point baskets by senior guard Shaia Horton and two lay-ups by junior Mishae Roper.
The Cardinals closed the gap to 14-12 at the end of the first quarter and took the lead for good with 1:30 to go in the first half on a jumper by senior forward Julia Robinson.
Kenmore played strong defense in the third quarter and extended its lead to 33-28 after three. Junior Porshae Hearn, in foul trouble most of the game, played out of position at point guard and had a 5-point third quarter when the Cards opened up a decisive cushion.
Alexis Bufford was injured in Kenmore’s last scrimmage and that prompted Jones to juggle her starting lineup. Hearn and shooting guard Alexis Lee divided the ball-handling duties for three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Jones decided to put the ball in the hands of senior forward Charnae Coleman. Jones said she wanted Coleman to "run the point and take control."
Coleman scored six straight points in the fourth quarter, none bigger than sinking both ends of a one-and-one with 24 seconds left to give Kenmore a 41-38 lead.
"We shoot foul shots every day at practice. I’m an 85 percent free-throw shooter, so those foul shots came easy to me,” Coleman said.
After the game, Firestone coach Audley McGill was not happy with his team. “We beat ourselves tonight. When you have 25 missed layups, 15 missed foul shots and 20 turnovers, our concentration has to get better. Offensively, we've got some work to do”.
The last time Firestone lost a City Series game was to Kenmore on Feb. 2, 2009. The Cardinals (1-0, 1-0) play at Archbishop Hoban on Wednesday. The Falcons (1-1, 0-1) host Buchtel Thursday in a City Series clash.
Kenmore 42, Firestone 38
Firestone (1-1) 14-8-6-10 = 38
Kenmore (1-0) 12-11-10 -9 = 42
Firestone: Shaia Horton 4-4-14, Tayelor McCalister 5-2-12, Mishae Roper 3-0-6, Darian Carter 3-0-6. Totals: 15-6-38.
Kenmore: Charnae Coleman 4-9-17, Porshae Hearn 3-1-9, Alexis Lee 2-1-6, Essence Bell 1-2-4, Milana McCirmick 2-0-4, Julia Robinson 1-0-2. Totals: 13-13-42.
3-Pointers: Firestone- 2 (Horton 2). Kenmore- 3 (Hearn 2, Lee 1)
In other Monday night games:
BRUNSWICK 40, AVON LAKE 36. At Avon Lake,Gabbie Bulic did it all Monday to lead Brunswick to its first win of the year. The 6-foot-4 junior post had 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine blocked shots to lead the Blue Devils to a 40-36 non-league win.
The Blue Devils (1-1) used a 10-0 second half run to take control of a game they trailed throughout the first half.
“We opened up and showed what we could do in the second half,” Bulic said. “This was a real confidence builder for us. We have to play a lot of games on the road early in the season so it’s important to learn how to win on the road.”
Senior Erica Eubank also added 16 points, including a trio of second-half 3-pointers.
Brunswick’s defense forced 22 turnovers while holding the Shoregals to 32 percent shooting.
Avon Lake led 19-15 at the half but the Blue Devils outscored their opponent 17-7 in the third to take control of the game.
We switched up in the second half and showed them some different offensive looks and shots started dropping for us,” Brunswick coach Halle Lengal said. “This was the first game we tried to go man-to-man.”
Brunswick will travel to Wilson, New York this weekend to take part in the Wilson Tip Off Tournament.
Brunswick 6 9 17 8 -40
Avon Lake 9 10 7 10 -36
Brunswick (40): Erica Eubank 5-3-16, Courtney Laudato 1-0-2, Gabbie Bulic 7-3-17, Melissa Truce 0-2-2, , Paige Salisbury 1-1-3. Totals: 14-9-40
Avon Lake (36): Kim Zelonis 3-2-8, Anelise Kollias 2-0-4, Lacy LeDuc 5-3-14, Molly Disbrow 3-0-6, Emily Nicholas 2-0-4. Totals: 15-5-36
Three-point field goals: Brunswick: Eubank 3; Avon Lake: LeDuc
Field Goals: Brunswick 14-of-38 (37 percent); Avon Lake 15-of-47 (32 percent)
Free Throws: Brunswick 9-of-20 (45 percent); Avon Lake 5-of-8 (63 percent)
Rebounds: Brunswick 28; Avon Lake 31
Turnovers: Brunswick 15; Avon Lake 22
JV: Avon Lake 38-28
ELLET 58, AKRON NORTH 32. At North High School, the Orangemen (3-0, 1-0) stay undefeated with a City Series win over the host Vikings (0-2, 0-1).
Coach Tina Wallace's Ellet squad jumped out to a 30-14 lead at half and maintained a double-digit margin the rest of the way.
Junior Shawn Bailey (18 points) and 6-foot-2 senior center Quinn Parker (15 points) were Ellet scoring leaders.
Sabria Meadows paced North with 8 points (6-of-9 on free throws). Aleyah Carmona contributed 7 points for the Vikings.
STOW 53, URSULINE 47. At Stow, seniors Kelly Magnani (22 points) and Alex Shaver (19 points) lifted the Bulldogs to a season-opening win over visiting Youngstown Ursuline.