CHARDON—Chardon dug itself out of an early hole in a key conference game against visiting Kenston on Wednesday only to see the Bombers pull away in the fourth quarter to win 62-53.
“I was pleased with our execution, I was pleased with the looks we got, we just weren’t making things,” said Chardon coach Cullen Harris said of the fourth quarter setback. “The offense, that’s going to come and go, but our defensive intensity and our defensive focus needs to be better. We come out in possessions and we don’t guard somebody. We have to get better defensively.”
The Bombers had jumped out to an 11-4 first quarter lead before the Hilltoppers rallied to tie it at 15-15. Chardon led 31-27 at halftime.Trailing by nine in the third quarter, the Bombers put together a 27-9 run to close out the contest.
Kenston junior Rayonna Peterson led all scorers with 22 points.
Peterson scored eight in the first quarter as the Bombers built their early lead and she closed out the game with six in the fourth quarter.
“Obviously, the game plan was not to let her score 22 points and we didn’t execute,” Harris said. “We didn’t contain the ball well enough. That’s the little things defensively that we don’t apply all the time. They’re a good team and they hurt you when you do that.”
Chardon used an 11-4 run to get back into the game in the first half but failed to match the Kenston run in the final 16 minutes.
“It’s tough but basketball is a game of runs and I think they made their run and we made our run,” Harris said. “Unfortunately, they had one more than we did and that was kind of the difference in the game.”
Danni McCartney led the Hilltoppers with 13 points while Halle Landies pitched in with 12 and Grace Bradley finished with 10.
Chardon struggled from the free throw line, where the converted on just 8-of-21 tries.
“That changes the dynamic when you’re up four and missing free throws,” Harris said. “Instead of making it six or eight, it’s still four and then they score and now it’s two. It just changes the dynamic of the whole game. We’re better than that. We have to keep working; that’s what it comes down to.”
Kenston improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Western Reserve Conference while Chardon dropped to 2-4, 1-2.
“I’m hoping we’re the team that’s going to kind of peak at the right time and we’re going to keep putting things together,” Harris said. “It just takes time.”
Kenston 62, Chardon 53
Kenston (5-1, 3-0 WRC): Taylor 5, Oglesbee 9, Hajdu 5, Maynard 12, Apshago 9, Peterson 22
Chardon (2-4, 1-2 WRC): Bradley 10, Landies 12, McCartney 13, Lundblad 2, DiLillo 2, Pastor 5, Nichols 5, Feller 4
Kenston 15 12 18 17 — 62
Chardon 13 18 14 8 — 53
Free throws: Kenston 12 of 31, Chardon 8 of 21; 3-pointers: Kenston 4 (Oglesbee 2, Maynard, Apshago), Chardon 1 (Feller); Rebounds: Kenston 39, Chardon 33;