Lady Kavaliers fall in state quarterfinals

Published 9:23 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

The 11th-seeded Kenston Forest School varsity girls basketball team lost 40-29 to host No. 6 Roanoke Catholic School on Feb. 28 in the first round of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III state tournament.

Despite the loss, Lady Kavaliers Head Coach Jannon Coley came away with a positive overall impression of her players’ performance.

“All in all, I thought they did pretty well,” she said. “They just ran out of steam.”

It was Kenston Forest’s first time facing the Lady Celtics this season, but Coley had done some research to prepare for them.

“I had looked at MaxPreps and also had been given film of a game through email from a coach that had played them before,” she said. “They pretty much showed us what we expected.”

Coley said Roanoke Catholic had a couple of girls who could shoot a lot of three-pointers and mentioned them when pointing to the game’s deciding factor.

“They had seven three-pointers the whole game, so that pretty much hurt a little bit,” the coach said.

The Lady Celtics took a 13-5 lead in the first quarter.

“They popped three three-pointers, and it just kind of put us behind, and we had to try to play catch-up,” Coley said.

Roanoke Catholic narrowly won the second quarter 10-9 and edged Kenston Forest 8-4 in third period before the Lady Kavs outscored the home team 11-9 in the fourth.

For the game, senior Savannah Gunn led Kenston Forest with nine points, junior Indigo Dougherty added six, junior Josie Epperson had five and senior Mackenzie Coley tallied four.

“Normally they score more than that,” Coach Coley said. “Our shots would not fall. We had a lot of missed shots that should have gone in that just didn’t.”

The Lady Kavaliers finished the 2016-17 season with an overall record of 11-14.

Evaluating her team’s season, Coach Coley said, “Overall, not bad at all. We made it to the first round of states, and we have not done that probably in the last four years, so I definitely think that was a great accomplishment for us. I wish we could have produced and done a little bit more in our conference, but I definitely think that we’re contenders there.”

Kenston Forest fell 39-35 to host Brunswick Academy in the first round of the Virginia Colonial Conference tournament, unable to reproduce a result from January when it defeated the visiting Lady Vikings 34-28.

“I think overall they played very hard, very well,” Coley said of her girls. “For what we had, I thought they did very well.”

The team will lose five players due to graduation this year, including all of the Lady Kavalier captains. The five players include starters Gunn and Mackenzie Coley, as well as Carrie Bailey, Mary Katherine Coleburn and Lydia Wrenn.