Notes: Kennedy girls basketball surprising in tough Empire League

Kennedy women basketball instructor Roland Preciado believed his group would be excellent but definitely not one of the surprises in Orange Region at this moment.

The Fighting Irish finished three essential senior citizens in 2014 and shed high-energy center Lanae Hudspeth to a knee injury toward the end of the summertime.

Preciado believes so highly of Hudspeth, a 5-foot-8 junior, he remains to call her injury “devastating” months later.

And also if the losses weren’t sufficient, the Realm League welcomed back standout Caylee Hermanson of Tustin and also included skilled Crean Lutheran to its rankings.

But after a slow-moving beginning against good competitors, safeguarding Realm League champ Kennedy has actually gone beyond Preciado’s expectations and is playing its best with the second round of organization approaching.

“If you would have informed me a few months ago … … that we ‘d be 12-8,” Preciado stated Monday, “I would have taken that in a heart beat.”

Kennedy, placed 19th in Orange Region, is 12-8 total however extra significantly 4-0 in the Realm Organization after a 49-41 victory in overtime against No. 22 Tustin and also a 57-54 accomplishment versus No. 21 Crean Lutheran.

The Battling Irish have actually won 8 of their previous 9 video games entering today’s schedule, which summons Pacifica on Tuesday and Tustin on Friday to Kennedy.

Preciado credit histories his team’s rise to its improvement on the protective end, where the Battling Irish register for a full-court, male press.

“Our defense has really picked it up,” he claimed. “We’re getting in transition more.”

And also when Kennedy gets in shift, advantages take place thanks to Regenus Gates. The athletic senior ahead scored a season-high 26 factors versus Crean Lutheran recently and also standards 14 factors as well as 8.4 rebounds.

Gates additionally teams with factor guard Traci Kwan and freshman Paige Yasukochi, a freshman, to offer Kennedy border scoring risks against zone defenses.

Senior Namara Rwakatare relocated to focus from forward to cover for Hudspeth. Rwakatare is second to Gates in rebounding with a 7.1 standard.

Junior Sophia Escalante helps Kennedy dart right into change with her protection. She standards a team-high 3.3 takes, just in advance of Gates at 2.3.

While Kennedy might proceed to stun in the CIF-SS Department 2AA playoffs, Preciado stated his team’s focus stays on safeguarding its organization title. “Afterwards, whatever is topping on the cake,” he stated.

MATER DEI HEADED EAST

Top-ranked Mater Dei (21-2) plays Christ the King of New York (9-4), ranked No. 1 in the nation in the preseason, in the Hoop Hall Standard at Springfield College in Massachusetts on Friday. The Monarchs will certainly visit and exercise at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. “Excellent journey for the children,” Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan stated.

SAN CLEMENTE’S GARDINER NEAR MILESTONE

San Clemente junior onward Ella Gardiner is 3 factors shy of ending up being the eighth girl in institution background to reach 1,000 profession factors. She might reach the landmark Tuesday night versus seeing Tesoro in the South Coastline League.

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