In what was a defensive contest pitting the Fenton varsity girls basketball team against the Linden Eagles on Friday, one quarter made the difference in determining the victor between the two rivals.
It was Linden’s third quarter. The stanza marked the only time either rival scored more than single-digits in a period. Linden, sparked by Kesley McLennan’s 13 third-quarter points, scored 17 points in that stanza and earned a pretty convincing 37-20 home victory against the Tigers.
“She came out in the second half and gave us a great boost,” Linden varsity girls basketball coach Brian Klein said. “When she plays aggressive and with confidence, she’s a tough one to guard. I’m proud of her and the entire team with how they responded at half.”
Neither team could get anything going against each other’s defense in the first half. Linden led just 4-2 after one quarter. The Eagles’ lead scored nine more points in the second quarter, taking a 13-8 halftime lead. Someone in the game had to figure it out offensively, and it was McLennan, with the help of some nice assists, that did.
The first points of the second half came on a McLennan three-pointer off an assist by Olivia Mawhinney. The next two came on a steal and fastbreak layup by Linden’s Allison Maienbrook, earning an 18-8 lead. Fenton fought back, and cut the gap to 20-13 after a conventional three-point play by Adrie Staib, but Linden went on a 10-point run to blow the game open. It started with another McLennan trey and continued with a conventional three-point play by McLennan. Shaye Barkholz followed with a layup and McLennan ended the run with a jumper. Linden led 30-13 at that juncture, and Fenton was unable to answer back.
Along with her 19 points, McLennan chipped in seven rebounds. Mawhinney had six points while Barkholz, Kayla Widner and Allison Maienbrook chipped in four points each.
Staib led the Tigers with eight points while Grace MacCaughan and Abby Logan had four points each. Keegan Weddle and Isabella MacCaughan contributed two points each.
Linden (4-1 in the Stripes Division and 7-3 overall) returns to action with a Tuesday contest at Genesee Christian. Fenton (3-2, 7-6) hosts Flushing on Friday.