A visibly frustrated Porshae Hearn in the Kenmore post-game huddle said it all in the Cardinals’ 67-50 home loss to St. Vincent-St. Mary on Saturday afternoon.
Hearn, last year’s City Series Player of the Year, was averaging 29.1 points per game coming into the game, including a 40-point performance against East earlier this season.
Saturday, the senior guard scored her lowest total of the year, only 16 points on four field goals and seven free throws.
“We made sure we had someone on her at all times with at least two others nearby to double team and trap her,” said Fighting Irish (10-4) coach Joe Jakubick.
“I’m not saying that other kids can’t make shots for them, but they were going to have to. She’s such a tremendous player, we just had to make it difficult on her and I think we did a good job of that.”
With Hearn effectively contained, the Cardinals’ (9-4) offense became stagnant. Sophomore forward Casey McCormick helped fill the void, leading her team with 18 points, but the rest of the offense failed to generate any momentum.
“St. V did a good job double-teaming Porshae and keeping her from getting going,” said Cardinals coach Yontami Jones. “I kept telling my girls that we had to look away from her and run our other plays. But they’re just used to watching Porshae score.”
Leading the charge on both sides of the ball for the Fighting Irish was junior forward Jordan Korinek, who is 6 feet, 2 inches. Korinek had a double-double in the first half alone with 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, all on driving layup attempts by Hearn.
She finished with 18 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks.
“Jordan is a tough matchup for any high school team,” said Jakubick.
“We felt going in that it would be difficult for anyone on Kenmore’s roster to guard her with just one player. And if they did start to double team, it would open up other areas of the court for us.”
And open it up, it did.
After Korinek’s dominating first-half performance, Kenmore began to pay more attention to her, clogging the paint and denying her the ball.
This opened up room on the perimeter for junior guard Shannon Jack, who scored 18 of her 20 points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter to help secure the victory.
When Kenmore cut the lead to five points with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Jack responded with a big 3-pointer to give the momentum back to the Fighting Irish.
“Shannon played a really good second half overall, and she made some great plays when we needed them the most in the fourth quarter,” said Jakubick.
After Jack’s 3-pointer, Kenmore was forced to call a timeout, and it could be seen that the confidence of the young team, with only two seniors, began to deflate.
“I think Porshae was a little upset that she didn’t get the chance to score like she usually does, which any player would be,” said Jones.
“Then there were a couple of attitudes at the end of the game and we stopped getting back on defense. That’s what happens with a young team.”
Kenmore will look to get back on track when it travels to Buchtel on Thursday. The Fighting Irish will host Mayfield next Saturday.
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