Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

December 10, 2013

GC Basketball: Kelly, Kerens rip defending Class 3A state champ Mexia, 81-39

Mike Phillips
Corsicana Daily Sun

KERENS — KERENS — Take a look at Marqueshia Kelly.

Pay attention. Just look at the way she posts up, the way she squares her shoulders when he shoots, the way she always seems to be in control around the basket, always cool and smooth. It’s picture-book book stuff, textbook technique.

And oh how pretty it looks when she is dropping in one shot after another.

She’s got the touch.

Just ask the kids at Mexia, who had no answer for Kelly, who was almost perfect, hitting 11 of 13 shots, including a pair of 3s to lead Kerens to an 81-39 romp over Mexia Tuesday.

You don’t see LeBron James hit 11 out of 13 unless 10 of the shots are dunks.

Kelly, a 5-9 senior, doesn’ dunk but she doesn’t have to — either does Kerens LadyCats, who flat out beat Mexia up and down the court all night.

That’s right, Class A Kerens took apart the Mexia, the defending Class 3A state champion.

And the LadyCats made it look easy.

This wasn’t the same team that won the title, but Kerens didn’t care.

“We really wanted to play them. I was as pumped up as I could be,’’ said Kelly who finished with 25 points, a dozen rebounds, two blocks and a couple of steals before leaving the game after early. “They beat us by eight points last year at their place.’’

All the Kerens players felt that way, especially Kelly and Breanna Baxter, who had a monster game on the boards. Baxter scored 14 points and brought down 19 rebounds to help bring down Mexia.

“When we found out we were playing them here (at Kerens) we were thinking, ‘We got to go get them!’”

They did.

Kelly hit her first four shots in the opening two minutes and just-like-that Kerens had an 8-2 lead. Kelly didn’t stop.

“She was on fire,’’ Kerens Coach Denise Lincoln said. “That’s what we talked about. We talked about going inside. We knew they couldn’t match up with us on the inside. We went inside and she was just making shots.

“They wanted to play (Mexia),’’ she said. “This is going to be our revenge year. We want to beat all those teams that beat us last year.’’

Mexia has some players out with injuries, and Lincoln knows Mexia will be better, but then again, Kerens won the game by 42 points.

“They’re down this year, but they will be OK by district,’’ Lincoln said of Mexia. “They lost some seniors and have some injuries. The girl who was the MVP of he state tournament is out. She would have made a 20-point difference.’’

Still, it was a big win for Kerens, who might have won by 20 or 30 any way.

“When I did miss a shot, she (Baxter) got the rebound,’’ joked Kelly after the game.

Baxter knew it was going to a big night for here friend and teammate.

“When she hit those first four shots I knew she was going to be on fire,’’ Baxter said.

Kerens had a parade of players have big nights, including Cambree Betts, who made three out five 3-pointers to finish with 14 points, Taylor Ames, who dropped in 10 points and Emmanuella Armant, who scored all 10 of her points in the second half.

Tinesha Tolliver scored six points and grabbed nine rebounds and Kayla Kilcrease added four points.

Kerens is ranked No. 7 in the TABC Class 1A Division I state poll but will likely move up after Tuesday’s one-sided romp. The LadyCats are now 6-1.

“We want to beat them, and we want to get our record up there. We lost one game (to Franklin two weeks ago) and we want to get (improve) our record and keep going,’’ Baxter said.

Like Lincoln said, this could be the revenge year, so those teams that knocked of Kerens last year should pay attention to what happened Tuesday.

“We wanted revenge tonight ,’’ said Kelly with a smile.

She wasn’t mad or angry, and words were just like her jump shot, smooth and cool and easy — and right on target.