Mayfield learned a lot from its 29-point loss to Kenston back on Jan. 17.
The Wildcats used that lesson to upset the host Bombers on Saturday, 58-52.
“We definitely weren’t happy after we played them the first time,” said Mayfield coach Ryan Looman. “We didn’t play well or how we expected. The biggest thing is we didn’t try to play at Kenston’s pace because they pressure the ball so well and they get out and run. The first time we played them, we tried to match them and it wore us down a little bit.”
Mayfield didn’t make the same mistake twice.
The Wildcats took a 23-22 lead into the locker room and led 33-30 after three quarters. A 25-point fourth quarter helped Mayfield pull off the upset.
“It was a fun game,” Looman said. “We were better able to handle the speed of the game and played with biter tempo and pace. The biggest thing is we took care of the ball. We didn’t let their pressure bother us too much and we were able to get some quality possessions on the offensive end.”
Katelyn Kinczel scored a game-high 26 points and also pulled down 13 rebounds while Julia DeBaltzo finished with 15 points.
“It was honestly a big team effort,” Kinczel said. “Everyone on the court was doing their job and that opened up shots for Julia and I. Whether it was a drive and kick or a nice pass to me inside, everyone was contributing in some way and that ultimately led us to a win.”
Catherine Rock and Juls Consolo both contributed to the win with six points.
“Juls Consolo and Catherine were solid,” Looman said. “We tried to mix up our defensive looks and those two were at the top of our matchup zone. They were a little limited in terms of the offensive output but they picked it up on the defensive end for us. Julia had a great game too. She was picking spots where she got out and ran and hit some big 3s for us in the first half.”
With the win, the Wildcats, who improved to 9-12 overall and finished 7-7 in the Western Reserve Conference, snapped a three-game losing skid.
They close out the regular season on Monday with a non-conference home game against Laurel then will focus on the postseason.
“We’re trying to peak to get ready for this game and Laurel on Monday for Senior Night but were also looking ahead a little bit to the tournament and how can we get to be playing our best basketball,” Looman said. “That was the challenge for them today. I was happy with how they responded. The message the day before the game was rewrite history a little bit. You have a chance to right the wrongs of the last game and I think they met that challenge. I was incredibly happy for them.”
Kenston dropped to 15-5, 11-3.
Mayfield 58, Kenston 52
Mayfield (9-13, 7-7): Kinczel 26, DeBaltzo 15, Rock 6, Consolo 6, Nerone 3, Fredrickson 2.
Kenston (15-7, 11-3): Maynard 22, Hajdu 15, Oglesbee 8, Apshago 4, Spehn 2, Taylor 1.
Mayfield 11 12 10 25 — 58
Kenston 11 11 8 22 — 52
Free throws: Mayfield 16 of 22 Kenston 6 of 14; 3-pointers: Mayfield 4 (Kinczel 2, DeBaltzo 2) Kenston 8 (Maynard 3, Hajdu 3, Oglesbee 2); Rebounds: Mayfield 38 (Kinczel 13), Kenston 36 (Spehn 11); Assists: Mayfield 10 (Valaitis 3, Rock 3, Consolo 3), Kenston 8 (Maynard 2); Steals: Mayfield 10 (Consolo 3), Kenston 3 (Maynard 2)