Fenton  - The Fenton varsity girls’ basketball team beat the Kearsley Hornets 53-44 in a game at Kearsley earlier in the year.

Friday night at the Jungle, the Flint Metro League rivals met for second time tied for first with identical 8-1 league records. The Tigers held serve and then some as they pulled away late, topping Kearsley 52-37.

The Tigers started off fast with a 6-0 lead at the 6:53 mark of the first quarter before a 9-run by the Hornets gave the visitors the one-point lead at 9-8. Both teams were very aggressive on the defensive end leading to multiple turnovers by both squads. Fenton trailed 13-12 at the end of the first.

A Korryn Smith three after a nice pass from Chloe Idoni put the Tigers up 17-13. Kearsley’s Jakeira Wash followed with an “and one” closing the gap to one. Then, enter Fenton’s Lauren Murphy whose steal and a bucket was followed by an “and one” of her own. The Tigers led 30-21 at the half.

An Erin Conroy 3-pointer got the Tigers on a roll early in the third quarter. Fenton led 35-23 at the 6:30 mark of the quarter. The Hornets responded with a 6-0 run to make it 35-29. The Tigers were held scoreless for over four minutes in the third before a Conroy bucket at the 1:50 mark gave Fenton the 37-30 edge heading into the final eight minutes.

Another Smith three was followed barely 30 seconds later by another Conroy bomb to make it 44-30 with 6:09 left. The Tigers played strong, finishing the game playing a two-three zone that clogged up the middle and frustrated Kearsley’s inside game that gave the Tigers some issues in the first half.

This one was total team effort. Eight girls had at least seven points or three rebounds. All five Fenton starters scored.

This was a huge win for the Tigers who have been chasing the Flushing Raiders the past several years.

“We talked about controlling our own destiny,” said Fenton coach Rebecca Moore. “We don’t have to worry about anyone else (helping us). We talked about doing things together as a 13-girl team. My kids the other day in practice that don’t play a lot were trying to do as much as possible to help us.”

When you talk about Fenton basketball the last four years, you can’t talk long without talking about Chloe Idoni. The Tigers need a big game from their senior standout. They got one.

Not only did the Ferris State bound senior lead the Tigers with 14 points, she had to defend another one on the Metro’s top “bigs” in Mackenzie Ramey. She held Ramey to only 12 points with most of the damage being done in the first half.

“I knew from the game before (against Kearsley) that they were out to get me in foul trouble,” said Idoni. “I figured out new ways to score. I figured out ways to play good defense without getting into foul trouble. It paid off this game.”

Conroy’s timely threes were a big factor in this huge Tigers’ win.

“We just knew that we had to stop their tempo,” said the senior guard. “We had some open shots and we hit them.” Conroy had 10 points, two rebounds, two steals and a block.

Fellow “Erin”, the Carter version, talked about how she and Conroy have been playing together for so long and how they are thoroughly enjoying their senior year.

“It’s really cool to see how we have grown all together,” said Carter. “It’s just been amazing and so much fun.” Carter had seven points, three rebounds, two steals and a block.

Smith’s older sister, Kaitlyn, starred at Holly for four years while becoming the Bronchos all-time leading scoring. The younger Smith had a big night with 11 points, nine rebounds and two steals. She led the Tigers with three 3-pointers. Smith was instrumental in helping Fenton control the boards through most of the game.

“We work really hard on that in practice,” said Smith. The 5-foot-11 sophomore uses her long wing span and good leaping ability to help the Tigers keep the glass clean.

Murphy had 10 points, five steals, two rebounds and a block.

Kyla Lynch, Samantha Whaling and Hanna Chapin each had three rebounds.

Fenton is now 9-1 in the FML and 9-2 in all games. The Tigers will face the Trojans of Owosso on Tuesday night.

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