The Tigers' press gave the Eagles problems as Rayen won its 11th straight game.
By BOB ROTH
WARREN -- Despite being shut out in the game's first 6 minutes, 57 seconds, The Rayen School's girls basketball team won its 11th straight contest Thursday, defeating Warren John F. Kennedy, 46-37.
The difference in the game was how well the Tigers (14-3) played in the second and fourth quarters, when they netted 40 points.
"We always seem to play bad here, but our defense came up very strong for us tonight," Rayen coach Holly Seimetz said.
Trailing 6-2 after the first quarter, Rayen sophomore Taniesha Holland went coast to coast for an easy layup after a steal for the Tigers' first basket. Eight seconds later, she did it again to tie the score.
The Tigers scored the next eight points and led 20-13 at halftime, as Holland scored 10 points and made four steals.
The Eagles (11-8) responded with a strong third quarter, outscoring the Tigers 15-4 for a 28-24 lead.
But Rayen turned on its defensive pressure in the fourth quarter, posting an 11-0 run for a 37-30 lead.
The Tigers went ahead for good when junior Ashley Myers scored on a putback with 5:44 to go for a 32-30 lead.
Holland, Myers and Ashley Adams all made free throws down the stretch.
Holland, who averages 20 points a game, was the game's high scorer with 19. She also had six steals and five assists.
"I knew we could come back because of our pressure defense," Holland said.
Myers, who had 10 points and nine rebounds, added, "Being aggressive and hustling was the big difference."
Aarika Knepp led the Eagles with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
JFK out-rebounded Rayen, 32-25, but committed 25 turnovers compared to 12 for the Tigers.
When the Tigers outscored the Eagles 40-16 in the second and fourth quarters, the Eagles committed 18 turnovers.
JFK coach Denise Smith said the game "was one of our best games of the season. We shut a quality team almost completely down in two quarters, but we had problems with their press."