He made sure that Kenston practiced hard and studied game film during the nine-day stretch. The Bombers looked like a rejuvenated team as they knocked off the Tigers on Feb. 17 with a dominant defensive effort. Kenston continued its impressive season with a 41-38 victory against the Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin Lions in the Division II Northeast 1 sectional finals on Feb. 20 in Bainbridge Township.
The Bombers had played the Lions in the first game of the season in late November but lost that game as they were missing two key contributors in Kate Haynes and Ramsey Smith. Fast-forward several months later and Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin was facing a completely different Kenston team.
It was a gritty game that came down to the wire as the Bombers held a three-point lead in the final seconds. Sophomore wing Hanna Busby was fouled and went to the line to shoot the one-and-one. She missed the first shot and it was a mad dash for the loose ball as it rolled past half court and all the way to the three-point line on the Lions’ side of the court. By the time Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin gained possession the clock had run out.
The last time Kenston made it the district semifinals was during the 2017-18 campaign. It was coach Misenko’s first year with the Kenston program and led his team to the district finals where the Bombers lost to Eastlake North. It has been quite the accomplishment for the young Kenston team to make it to the district semifinals during a season hindered by the pandemic.
“All this is going to is help us because we’re getting experience as a young team. They all like each other and they play really hard. I told them in the locker room I really love coaching this team. They just play so hard and I’m having a great time coaching them,” said coach Misenko.
The Bombers got off to a good start by taking a six-point lead at the end of the first quarter. The Lions made a run in the second as Kenston senior wing Kate Haynes got into foul trouble and Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin feasted in the post as sophomore Ava Baeslach scored nine points to push her team out to a 23-22 lead near the end of the first half. The Bombers regained the lead on a buzzer-beating lay-up by senior center Molly Hubert.
“Once we slowed down in the second half I thought we did better in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter and made enough plays to win,” said the fourth-year Kenston head coach.
As great as the victory was it was not one of Kenston’s better games. The Bombers had trouble getting their offense into a rhythm and missed a ton of open looks against the Lions’ zone defense. Kenston had a lot of success against zone this season but had trouble hanging onto the ball as it committed 20 turnovers.
Junior guard Catara DeJarnette was the Bombers’ leading scorer with 15 points and sophomore forward Ramsey Smith chipped in 13 points. Baeslach led Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin with 16 points followed by sophomore Melissa Brownlee who scored 11 points.