Kettering pulls away from Mott, earns important KLAA North win
Waterford – What began as a closely-contested game between Waterford Kettering and Waterford Mott quickly evolved into something of an unexpected rout on Friday in the first of two regular season meetings between rivals.
Kettering held a two-point lead throughout most of the opening quarter but erupted offensively in the second, outscoring Mott 21-6, on its way to a convincing 60-41 victory.
The Captains are 9-0, 3-0 in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division.
"I think our depth wore them down a little bit and (Mott) had to keep their starters in a while and was running out of gas a little bit," Kettering coach Scott Woodhull said. "They started to foul us and we were able to knock in our free throws and create some easier shots."
After the first quarter, Kettering’s 3-point shooting success began to create separation on the scoreboard, with Julia Kroll and Haley Tewes each connecting on a pair of 3-pointers.
Trailing 36-19 at halftime, Mott went without a point for four minutes to begin the third quarter, as Kettering’s 28-6 scoring run established a cushy 20-point lead down the stretch. The Captains’ defense was also effective, forcing the Corsairs into forced shots and denying them much prime floor space on their attempts.
"When we spread people out and make them come out to get us, everybody cuts pretty well and I don’t have anybody that’s slow on the team, so we’re able to take advantage over the long haul and wear them out," Woodhull said.
Haley Tewes led Kettering with 20 points and her sister, Lauren Tewes, contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Kroll added 10 points for Kettering (9-0).
The teams will meet again on Feb. 6 at Kettering.
The Corsairs’ loss was their first since the opening night of the season. Mott coach Michelle Sklar said that despite her team’s significant height disadvantage, they needed to find a way to get to more rebounds.
"They hit some shots and we’ve got to do a better job of contesting them," Sklar said. "They hit a couple of tough threes where we had a hand in their face. You’ve got to give them credit and that (second quarter) was really the turning point of the game. Otherwise it was fairly even."
Senior Amy Cooperrider tallied 10 points for Mott (7-2, 2-1) and Toni Sarkesian added eight.
"We struggled to score in that quarter and they hit their shots. We’ve got to do a better job defensively and a better job of boxing out," Sklar said.
Last season, the two squads met four times. Kettering took both regular season games on its way to a division title and later eliminated Mott from the district playoffs. The Corsairs won the head-to-head matchup in the KLAA tournament and went on to win the conference title for the first time.