By Lans Christensen
KENT—The Hotchkiss School’s girls’ basketball team came to The Kent School Dec. 4, for the first of their two season meetings.
They arrived with an impressive record from last season: The 2022-23 Bearcats were the best team in school history with 18 wins and as finalists in the Class A Championship.
Kent did not seem intimidated, and the game started with two well-matched opponents. Ball possession was relatively equal, and two points were the difference in the first quarter.
Kent used a full-court press defense, which forced Hotchkiss into sporadic plays and desperate shots. Play at the Kent end was more controlled, and baskets were successfully sunk.
The second quarter saw Kent take a 4-point lead for the first time, and that slowly built to a 34-19 lead by halftime. Outstanding offense and shots from Kent forwards Phoena Dadson and Morgan Johnson were the driving forces in the go-ahead.
Hotchkiss came back strong and determined in the second half. Ball steals, clutch rebounds and intercepted passes led to frequent Bearcat fast breaks and many baskets.
The start of the fourth period found Kent’s lead diminished to just four points with the score at 42-38. A competitive spirit to the game was palpable in the gym.
Kent led by a basket with one and a half minutes to go. Hotchkiss, through superior rebounding, looked to even the score or better.
With only seconds left, Johnson sank the 3-pointer shot of the day, a perfect swish, and Kent held on to win 58-53.
Story courtesy of the Lakeville Journal