Hammond Girls Comfortably Returns To Class D Title
BY DAVE SHEA
POTSDAM - Speaking of the extreme athleticism and basketball acumen of Hammond junior Avery Kenyon, Heuvelton Coach Powers says "she can do things that nobody in our section can do and every time I see her play she does something I haven't seen before"
Hammond Coach Shawn Dack concurs, "I see her do things like that every day."
On Saturday Kenyon scored 23 points highlighted by a behind the back dribble to beat a double team at midcourt and then soared to the basket for a reverse layup as the Red Devils downed Heuvelton 64-35 in the Section 10 Class D Championship game at SUNY Potsdam.
The Red Devils (22-1) recorded their 22nd straight win off a season opening loss to Heuvelton, where Kenyon sustained a knee injury, and won the sectional title and state tournament berth for the first time since 2013.
Kenyon scored 12 points in the first quarter where the Devils took a 23-9 lead and never relinquished control against a talented Bulldog squad which never stopped trying to forge a comeback.
Kenyon also led an extended swarming Red Devil defense which pilfered the passing lanes triggered the offense right off the opening tip. Kenyon had three steals in the first 30 seconds and finished with 11 steals on the day.
"We played great today as a team. We were loose and got off to a fast start," said Kenyon who se sister, Brittany Kenyon, scored 1437 points at Hammond from 2005-8 and excelled on two state championship teams.
"I have always wanted to follow in my sister's footsteps and help bring Hammond back to the top"
The Hammond effort also included impressive outings by: Kylie Vaugh who delivered 11 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks, Haile Cunningham who continued her all purpose contributions with 14 points with 4-5 free throw shooting, four assists, four rebounds and four steals, Kelsey Bennett who scored 12 points with four rebounds and three steals and the defensive presence of Sadey Sprabary who grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots.
Landree Kenyon buried a three-pointer for Hammond and Alyvia Crosby added a foul shot and solid defensive effort.
"What a group of girls we have. To earn two Section 10 Class D titles, in soccer and basketball, is amazing. I can’t express enough how amazing that is. Today we played stress free. And that was huge for us. To start fast. Play SMART defense. And let the leaders lead. Amazing," said Hammond Coach Shawn Dack
"These girls have been through a lot of games over the years. The last three years have been close games that could have gone either way but didn’t go ours. And those teams that won were amazing. Today we were and the girls deserve all the credit."
Bella Doyle led Heuvelton (16-6)
with nine points on athletic conversions at the goal, eight rebounds and three assists. Ryna Cameron tallied eight points with five rebounds and Katie Cunningham finished at seven points. Molly Williams and Rylin McCallister both buried 3-pointers, Ali Trathen also scored three points and Caitlyn Sibley added two points.
"We had a list of things we wanted to do and we did some but we just didn't have the firepower to match Hammond which was firing on all cylinders. But our goal was to reach this game and see what we could do and we were able to do that," said Coach Powers.
"Hammond has a great team and a great coach in Shawn Dack. We wish them luck going on and I hope they finish the season with us being the only team that beat them."