Bobcats race out quickly in win over Daniel
By Eric Sprott
SENECA — It wasn’t necessarily the complete-game performance she was looking for, but Ashlen Dewart couldn’t have more pleased with how her Seneca High School girls’ basketball team opened up Friday night against Daniel.
Using smothering defense and a balanced offensive attack, the Bobcats raced out to an insurmountable advantage and eventually cruised to a 59-44 win to sweep the season series with their rival.
Building an early 11-0 lead less than four minutes into the night, Seneca came away with steals on six of the Lions’ first 10 possessions, and Daniel didn’t light up the scoreboard until five minutes into the contest.
By halftime, the Bobcats held a 34-14 advantage, with Kaliah Kendrick and Anne-Hamilton LeRoy both scoring a dozen points through two quarters, while Seneca’s other three starters — Tadaija Brown, Caroline Crowe and Meshayla Maddox — all scored at least once from the field over the first two quarters.
“It was definitely by far our best first-half start, and it’s the most consistent first half we’ve had,” Dewart said. “We were just the aggressors the whole first half, and we were consistent with it.
“It really paid off, but we talked after the game about how we have to do it for four quarters.”
After the Bobcats’ dominant start, Daniel didn’t go quietly, outscoring the Bobcats 18-10 in the third quarter, with Catie VanSant scoring eight of her game-high 23 points in the frame.
Daniel got as close as 12 points at 46-34 on a pair of free throws from VanSant with 6:32 to play, but LeRoy followed with a pull-up jumper, and Kendrick then found Brown down low for a score to swing the momentum back to the home team.
“From the start, our goal was to push the ball, get offensive rebounds and stop them from getting boards,” Kendrick said. “One of our goals was also to stop them on the defensive end.”
And that the Bobcats did for most of the night, as they thrived on both ends in the rivalry win.
“We definitely focus on defense, because it creates offense and defense wins championships,” Dewart said. “I definitely harp on that with them, because they have the potential to be great defenders. Then on offense, tonight was just really unselfish. They were moving the ball and looking for each other, and they were feeding the post, which is a new concept for them.
“I was very happy with the offensive effort tonight, because that balance makes us better.”
LeRoy finished with a team-high 22 points for Seneca, while Kendrick was close behind with 17 in the win.
Seneca 59, Daniel 44
DWD 8 6 18 12 — 44
SHS 18 16 10 15 — 59
Daniel (44) — VanSant 23, Farish 6, Hicks 6, Taylor 5, Young 4
Seneca (59) — LeRoy 22, Kendrick 17, Brown 9, Maddox 7, Crowe 4
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