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Sputtering offense leaves Kettle Run with 41-22 girls basketball loss to Brentsville

Thursday, Jan. 30 | By Jeff Malmgren

Jasmine Webster led Kettle Run with seven points and eight rebounds Thursday during a 41-22 loss to Brentsville. --Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
Ashley Winslow, Haleigh Kilby and Mackie Thompson unpacked the box-and-one defense.

The Kettle Run Cougars focused that defensive scheme toward Brentsville’s Ada Stanley on Thursday after the freshman forward scored 24 points during a Tigers’ win against them on Dec. 20.

The box-and-one contained Stanley Thursday (five points), but Winslow, Kilby and Thompson broke out with 32 points combined to lead Brentsville to a 41-22 win on the road in Nokesville.

“Our game-plan, we did what we wanted to do,” Cougars forward Jasmine Webster said. “We wanted to really contain [Stanley] tonight. … We weren’t expecting any other players to kind of shine.”

Winslow finished with 12 points for Brentsville (10-4), while Thompson and Kilby had 10 each against Kettle Run (3-12).

Kilby is often the catalyst of Brentsville’s offense, but she scored only four points during the Tigers’ first meeting with Kettle Run, a 50-32 win. Kilby started slow again Thursday, but then found her shooting stroke and scored eight points in the second half against a Cougars’ box-and-one defense focused on Stanley.

“I expected it to be on Haleigh, to be honest,” Tigers’ coach Tim Brown said of the “one” in that box-and-one scheme. When it wasn't, "we just sort of ran a modified version of what we normally do and kept Ada in the [high] post and had another post run the baseline.”

Nonetheless, that defense kept Kettle Run close in the first half. The Tigers led only 18-14 at halftime, and the Cougars scored the first basket of the third quarter to close within two points.

“Defensively we did a lot of good things,” Kettle Run coach Sarah Ventresco said. “Our game plan was to stop [Stanley], and I felt like we did a good job with that.

“We’ve never run [box-and-one] on a post before. I liked that,” she said. “We did well in the rotations.”

That defense, however, couldn’t completely compensate for a Kettle Run offense that scored only four points in the third quarter and four in the fourth. In fact, the Cougars went scoreless for more than six minutes in the third period, allowing Brentsville to go on a 12-0 run and take a 30-16 lead.

Kilby made a pair of 3-pointers during that stretch.

“My 3-pointers weren’t falling” in the first half, she said. “Usually they’re my” best offense.

Her first 3-pointer, with 4 minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter, gave Brentsville a 22-16 lead. It also had a ripple effect, Brown said.

“Once she hit a shot, I think that relaxes everyone else because, in their heads, they don’t have to do as much because she’s starting to go,” Brown said. “We have this thing, with the exception of a few games, where we make a run. … I can’t explain it.”

The Tigers didn’t shoot particularly well, making 31 percent of their 39 field goal attempts (12 made), but they shot well relative to Kettle Run. The Cougars made 9 of 47 field goal attempts (19 percent).

“Our shots just wouldn’t fall,” Webster said. “It was just one of those nights.

“We usually like when they play zone because we have a few outside shooters,” she said. “They played a good, hard zone.”

The Cougars made only one of 17 3-pointers (6 percent) against the Tigers’ 2-3 zone.

“I’m from upstate New York, so I sit in that zone all the time,” Brown said. “We don’t give up good looks.”

Webster made Kettle Run’s lone 3-pointer with 6:59 remaining in the first quarter to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead. She finished the game with seven points, while Addy Foudray had five and Hannah Frye had two.

“We really focused on them,” Brown said of that trio. “If Jasmine Webster starts making shots, then we’re in trouble. If Addy starts making shots, then we’re in trouble. All three of them start making shots, then we pack up the bus.”

Kettle Run out-rebounded the Tigers, 37-34, and had fewer turnovers, 18-17, but that wasn’t enough to overcome the Cougars’ shooting percentage.

Curiously, Kettle Run had its fewest turnovers (two) during Brentsville’s third quarter run. The Cougars still fell behind in that period by shooting only 17 percent.

With Kettle Run struggling to make shots, offensive rebounds kept it within striking distance during the first half. The Cougars had six of their 13 offensive rebounds during their 8-6 run in the third quarter.

“We’ve been stressing it in practice – just finding people and being physical and trying to body-up,” Ventresco said of the rebounds. “They did a lot of good things. We just couldn’t get [shots] to fall.”

Webster led Kettle Run with eight rebounds (four offensive), while Foudray had six rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Thompson led Brentsville with nine rebounds (four offensive), while Stanley had six (three). Kilby added six steals, four rebounds and two assists.

Winslow scored seven of her 12 points in the first half, while Thompson scored seven of her 10 points in the first quarter with Kilby going scoreless.

“That’s what good teams do,” Brown said. “When someone struggles, someone else has to step up.”

With the win, the Tigers strengthened their positioning the Evergreen District and Conference 27 standings. At 4-1 in the district, they sit in second place, and they also stand second in the conference at 7-2.

“We have a pretty good chance” to win a title, Kilby said. “I think we can be a very good team.”

Spotsylvania leads Conference 27 with its only loss coming against Brentsville.

“We beat them and then the second game we had them down 10” before they won, Brown said. “We know it has to go through Spotsy at one point. … We can compete.”

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