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Varsity Girls Basketball Wins 55-27 Over Kempner

By Kevin Epps, 11/13/23, 7:02PM CST


When one door closes, another opens, according to Alexander Graham Bell. That was accurate Tuesday when Junior guard Rachel Ashby and Freshman Tess Stephenson took the Stratford court for the Girls Basketball Varsity Squad after their terrific volleyball team's season ended prematurely. Both are very talented. Ashby is a preternatural point guard. Stephenson has height along with quickness and court vision and will likely play multiple positions this season.

The Spartans began the game vs. Kempner with scoring opportunities passed around like Thanksgiving dishes. Seniors Kendall Zoboroski and Emma Adisa along with Juniors Kendall Davis and Aria Taylor scored in the first quarter to build a 9-4 lead with 1:18 remaining. Stephenson elevated a lovely seven-foot jumper over the outstretched arms of the Cougars' tallest defender to make it 11-4.

Ashby delivered to Junior forward Bella Perroni, who dished to Junior guard Ella O'Connor for a basket. Adisa nailed a three-pointer from the right corner to make it 16-7 early in the second quarter. Taylor and Zoboroski each scored after grabbing offensive rebounds. Zoboroski scored again when Ashby pushed the pace hard and a napping defense missed Zoboroski, who was wide open on the left block. Ashby found Stephenson (you may hear this statement A LOT this year) at the top of the three-point line, and it was 25-13. The Cougars struggled to contain the Spartans on defense, but the Spartans struggled to stop the opposition's quick guards, who repeatedly penetrated the first line of defense and entered the lane, lofting six-footers that banked in. Zoboroski had another offensive rebound and score to end the half 27-15.

The third quarter saw the Spartans get great looks at the basket. They moved the ball well and took good shots. But for a little while,  it was like shooting into a pothole on Kirkwood. Fortunately, their defense held and finally Ashby knocked a trey in from the left wing to make it 30-17. A fire was lit, and Ashby forced a steal and a fast-break bucket. She hit Adisa, who found Stephenson for a goal. Ashby later located Stephenson waiting behind the arc, and the made basket put the score at 37-19. It was Taylor's turn to heat up after she drove the lane and converted what felt like a slow-motion reverse layup. Old-school Princeton was conjured when Adisa scored off the backdoor pass from Taylor. Perroni smartly went with her left hand on a fast-break score off the steal-and-assist from Taylor. Junior forward Gretchen Loveless snagged an offensive rebound and put it back to make it 45-20 to end the third period.

The fourth quarter was a bit sloppy. O'Connor scored off a Zoboroski assist. Taylor scored. Ashby fed Stephenson, who drove and scored. Zoboroski drove the lane and split two defenders, and the final was 55-27. Stephenson led the scoring with 12 points along with six rebounds. Zoboroski and Taylor each had eight points and 10 rebounds. Ashby lit up the boxscore with five points, five assists, four steals, and four rebounds. Loveless had 11 rebounds. Davis had seven rebounds, and O'Connor scored six points. The Spartans are 1-1 on the season.