Ninth-Ranked Kerens Ends Tenaha’s Playoff Run With Rout in 1A Division I Regional Semifinals
TYLER -- Tenaha's Cinderella run through the playoffs came to a crashing halt Friday afternoon at the hands of ninth-ranked Kerens' full-court pressure defense.
Kerens racked up 25 steals, turning defense into easy offense in an 85-38 rout of Tenaha in their Class A Division I Region III semifinal at Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gym.
The Lady Cats (27-4) will face eight-time defending regional champion and defending state champion Martin's Mill (33-2) at 4 p.m. Saturday back in Tyler with a berth at next weekend's state tournament on the line.
Tenaha (16-15) qualified for the playoffs by finishing third in District 22-A, and won three consecutive playoff games before running into the buzzsaw from Kerens on Friday.
Four players scored in double figures for Kerens. Cambree Betts had 22 points, three steals and two assists, Taylor Ames finished with 21 points, six steals and three rebounds, Breanna Baxter added 15 points, six boards and three steals and Tinesha Tolliver chipped in with 11 points, three rebounds and three steals.
In addition to its defensive prowess, Kerens got to the free-throw line with ease, converting 33-of-47 from the charity stripe.
Shativia Gray led Tenaha with nine points, three rebounds and three assists. Eboni Moore added eight points and six boards, Ashton Griffin had six points, three rebounds and two steals and Takameria McClure finished with five points and five rebounds in the losing effort.
Kerens got five steals in the first four minutes of the game and jumped out to a 9-2 lead before Tenaha coach Garry Davison called a timeout. The Lady Cats stretched it to 15-2 and later 22-3 in the first quarter.
The game was completely put out of reach in the second period as Kerens outscored Tenaha 24-3 to go into halftime with a 49-12 lead. Kayla Kilcrease's 3-pointer gave Kerens its biggest lead of the night -- 68-21 -- with 2:17 remaining in the third quarter.
No. 9 Kerens 85, Tenaha 38
Girls Class A Division I Region III Semifinal
At Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gym
Tenaha 9 3 16 10 -- 38
Kerens 25 24 19 17 -- 85
TENAHA (16-15) -- Shantivia Gray, 9; Eboni Moore, 8; Ashton Griffin, 6; Takameria McClure, 5; La'Porsha Perry, 4; Jalysa Steadman, 4; Taylor Walton, 2.
KERENS (27-4) -- Cambree Betts, 22; Taylor Ames, 21; Breanna Baxter, 15; Tinesha Tolliver, 11; Emmanuella Armant, 5; Marqueshia Kelly, 5; Kayla Kilcrease, 3; Kiara Lindsey, 2; Ashlie Thompson, 1.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Tenaha: McClure. Kerens: Ames (2), Betts (2), Armant, Kilcrease.