Girls basketball takes hard loss against Benet Academy after 2OT

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Girls basketball takes hard loss against Benet Academy after 2OT

Senior Kayla Henning dribbles ball down the court at last night's game.

Senior Kayla Henning dribbles ball down the court at last night's game.

Hailey Fine

Senior Kayla Henning dribbles ball down the court at last night's game.

Hailey Fine

Hailey Fine

Senior Kayla Henning dribbles ball down the court at last night's game.

Hailey Fine, Assistant Sports Editor

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Playing right after the boys’ basketball game, the girls came out ready to put up a fight and that’s exactly what they did. Even when two thirds of the fans left before tip-off, they stayed motivated throughout the whole game.

The Kits faced off against Benet Academy, ranked #1 in the state, and proved to everyone that they are just as good, even though they are currently placed at #5. Benet already has four girls who are committed to major D1 basketball programs; they have a record of 26-2. 

The first quarter kicked off with a rough start with the Kits being outscored 15-8. Senior Ambrea Gentle seemed to still be struggling but had an impressive comeback going into the third quarter. Gentle ended the game having scored a hefty 20 points along with 11 rebounds and ended up being player of the game. 

“I thought Ambrea had a really tough first half and we were able to go back to her in the second half which was huge for us because I don’t think they had an answer for it down low,” head coach Brittanny Johnson said. “So I’m actually proud of her because at the Fenwick game, in particular, she just did not do well in both halves, but today her response was much better.”

Another player who stood out was junior Zee Olatunbosun. She was able to make herself known by making big shots down the stretch and making sacrifices for the free throw shots which ended up paying off. She ended the game with a career-high 20 points.

“I thought Zee was phenomenal on offense and defense, she anchored us in both halves,” Johnson said.

One facet of the game that Olatunbosun influenced was the pace. The fast-paced game kept the fans on their feet with both of the teams scoring back and forth to keep an even score, similarly to how the boys game went. The score at the end of the fourth quarter was 55-55 which then led them into their first overtime. 

The team stayed in the lead during this overtime and were close to a win until Benet’s Kendall Holmes was fouled with 1.5 seconds left. This cost two free throws which then set the score even at 63-63, calling for a second overtime.

The second overtime started out rocky for the Kits as Benet stayed in the lead for the first two minutes. The girls didn’t let that stop them as Gentle gave a 3-point play with 57 seconds left. With a score of 71-70, Benet was able to use rebounds to their advantage and get five more points under their belt at the very last seconds of the game, ending it with a score of 71-75.

“They’re a tough team and it’s going to come down to ball possession and it did,” Johnson said. “We didn’t box out and ended up giving up offensive rebound. She threw a crazy looking shot and it went in.”

Rather than walking out with their heads down, the Kits left the stadium with their heads held high and motivation to work even harder next time. Despite the loss, they were able to prove that they are tough competition for even the best team in the state.

“At this point in the season to be in a game with a team as talented as them [Benet], it shows me that we’re definitely headed in the right direction,” Johnson said. “We were just a few plays away from beating them.

The Kits will be playing Maine West this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Beardsley gym. This will be yet another tough game considering that Maine West is a top 10 team and the Kits lost to them during playoffs last year. According to Johnson, the girls are hoping to build off of their past losses in order to come out on the winning end of this next game. Tough losses against teams like Fenwick, Lincoln Way West, and now Benet will help to motivate an improvement in their game play.