MANSFIELD — Senior High’s sharpshooters were locked in Saturday afternoon.
Kiersten Bradley and Kiyah Wentz each connected on three 3-pointers while Dazey Manns and Monetta Hilory knocked down treys of their own as Mansfield Senior cruised to a 46-34 win over crosstown rival Madison at Pete Henry Gym.
Senior High (5-4) connected on five triples to open the game, blowing out to a 20-9 first-quarter lead. Wentz bookended the barrage, which also included a pair of 3s from Bradley.
“We had a lot of energy coming out in warm-ups. We were all hitting,” said Bradley, who scored a game-high 19 points. “We were like, ‘If they’re going to play zone, just (make) skip passes and shoot.’ We came out with 15 straight points on 3s.”
A triple by Manns with seven minutes remaining in the second quarter gave the Tygers a 25-12 advantage. Madison (4-4) responded with a 5-0 run capped by a Breonnah Reece 3-pointer with 4:15 to play in the first half to make it 25-17. Senior High closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 32-17 advantage to the break. Wentz hit her third and final triple during the stretch.
“The first quarter was the difference of the game,” Madison coach Brian Davis said. “It’s hard to understand, when you know exactly what a team is going to do, and you come out and sleep-walk through the first quarter.
“They are a good-shooting team and they knocked down wide open shots.”
Madison woke from its slumber in the second half, outscoring the Tygers 17-14 after intermission. The damage had been done, however, and the Rams never cut the deficit to below 12 points the rest of the way.
“That is what we’ve been waiting on,” Senior High coach JeVar Hudgens said. “We’ve been waiting on just having a full, complete night.”
The Tygers have been a strong first-half team for much of the season. Senior High’s troubles have come in the second half. Mansfield Senior allowed double figure leads to slip away in losses to Mount Vernon and Wooster earlier this season.
“We’ve come out swinging and then let down in the fourth,” Hudgens said. “The emphasis today was trying to keep the momentum. Keep that same high energy riding through.”
Faith Kuhn led Madison with nine hard-earned points. Alexsia Davis added eight, while Savannah Grey had five.
The 6-foot-1 Kuhn, who has been on a scoring rampage of late, was largely held in check. She scored four second-half points, all from the free throw line, as Senior High sent extra defenders at her every time she caught the ball near the basket.
“Just being physical and not letting her get comfortable on the block,” Hudgens said of Senior High’s defensive approach. “Once you let her get comfortable, she’ll eat you alive.”
Wentz backed Bradley with nine points for the Tygers. Juleah Windham and Annaleise Norris each had four.