January 18

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL: Madison loses battle of boards to Monmouth

Kemp scores 14, grabs 14 rebounds in Mustangs win over Bulldogs

By Matt DiFilippo mdifilippo@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Kemp scores 14, grabs 14 rebounds in win over Madison

MONMOUTH — Monmouth’s “big” rebounder is 5-foot-6 senior Kylie Kemp. The Mustangs have no one taller than 5-8, which means they look up to their opponents in just about every game.

But if the Mustangs can win the rebounding battle, they do enough other things well to come away with a win. That’s what happened Saturday afternoon, as Monmouth gained a bundle of Heal points and moved up to fifth in the Western C girls basketball standings with a 43-39 victory over Madison.

“We always talk ‘Box out. Box out,’” said Kemp, who finished with game-high totals of 14 points and 14 rebounds. “Even if we don’t get the rebound, we hope that we get an over-the-back call.”

Monmouth (7-5) finished with a 42-33 edge in rebounds. In addition to Kemp, 5-foot-6 Haley West had eight rebounds and 5-foot-3 Sidney Wilson grabbed six.

“We talked before the game that every shot that went up, we had to step to a body and rebound,” Monmouth coach Scott Wing said. “They don’t have huge players, but they’re all big. We had to, player for player, beat them on the boards, and I think we did a pretty solid job on that overall.”

Madison (9-4) is playing without Bronte Elias, who is out for the season with a knee injury. The Bulldogs are still a dangerous team, and have balanced scoring. Their full-court press caused Monmouth some problems early, and Cristie Vicneire (eight points) led the way early as Madison opened up leads of 14-8 and 24-17.

But Alex Jarvais and Emily McKenney, two of Madison’s top forwards, both got in foul trouble, and the Bulldogs got away from what they usually do so well. Madison’s hallmark is an offense predicated on smart shots, but in the third quarter, the Bulldogs often had very quick possessions and were an uncharacteristic 4 for 20 from the field. When West threw in a lefty hook late in the quarter, Madison’s 31-25 lead had disappeared into a 33-33 tie.

“Against real good teams, we need to be much more disciplined in our attack of the game,” Madison coach Al Veneziano said. “We’re learning that. We work on that every day.”

Madison was ahead 39-37 with 3:57 to play in the game, but Wilson (10 points) tied it with 2:13 left when she followed up her own miss with a layup. The Mustangs went up 41-39 with 1:39 remaining as Kemp grabbed the rebound and went coast-to-coast for the go-ahead layup. After two Madison turnovers, Jenna Davies (10 points) made both ends of a one-and-on to put Monmouth ahead 43-39 with 26.2 seconds remaining. Madison’s final attempts resulted in good shots that didn’t fall.

“Tonight was a pretty complete game,” Wing said. “We played fairly well. They’re a team that shoots the ball well, and they’re going to make a few runs on you. We forced them to stop pressing. That’s a testament to being able to handle that pressure, and that was huge.”

It was a tough loss for the Bulldogs, in a game that could have gone either way. On the other hand, Madison is 9-3 in its last 12 games, and those three losses are by a combined 15 points.

“It was a good week for us,” Veneziano said. “We won three and lost one. You’ve got to be happy with a three-win week.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243mdifilippo@centralmaine.comTwitter: @Matt_DiFilippo
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