By Lloyd Jones
CONWAY — Lethargic.
That's the word Coach Larry Meader kept coming back to on Wednesday when talking about the performance of the Kennett High girls' basketball team on the road against Coe-Brown Northwood Academy the night before. The host Bears beat the Eagles 52-45 in a game Meader believes was ripe for the taking for the girls from Conway.
"We didn't really show up to play," Meader said prior to practice on Wednesday afternoon. "It was weird. We had no emotion, no sense of urgency. It was kind of like we reverted back to last year. Lethargic is the best way to sum up the night."
Kennett fell to 1-3 in Division II with the loss, while Coe-Brown Northwood improved to 2-1.
KHS jumped out to an 8-0 lead and looked poised to send the Bears back into hibernation early.
"We missed three or four layups and still had an 8-0 lead," Meader said, "but then we turned the ball over three straight times and that led to six unanswered points. At the end of the quarter we were up 9-6. It seemed like we were a step behind all night."
At the half, the game was deadlocked at 18.
"We talked at the half about the first four minutes of the third quarter being the most important of the game," Meader said. "Coe-Brown won those four minutes and ended up outscoring us 17-8."
Trailing 35-26 entering the fourth period, Kennett outscored the Bears 19-17, but it was too little, too late.
"We picked up the offense a bit, but the defense is still not where we need it to be," Meader said.
Liz Kenny, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, led the Eagles in the scorebook with 12. Gianna Jones, who went 9-12 from the charity stripe, added 11 points; Izzy Wrobleski, 10; Cassidy Chick and Liz Cote, five; and Kelsey Bush, two.
Kennett will face a stiff test this Friday (6 p.m.) when Portsmouth (3-0) is scheduled to come to the Nest.
The Clippers have been rolling on the hardwood thus far this winter. They've outscored their opponents 154-68, including a 54-12 victory at Timberlane (0-5) on Dec. 22.
"They only beat Coe-Brown by six (40-34 in Portsmouth)," Meader said. "They lost a few girls, but still have Libby Underwood (who has committed to play for William and Mary next year). It's Portsmouth, that talent keeps pouring in every year. We usually play them tough, and I'm counting on us coming out and playing well."