EASTON — Opponents would be well-advised not to take the Trojans lightly.
That’s likely what happened Jan. 9 when Easton’s unbeaten girls found themselves in an early 8-0 hole.
That’s right. That Easton. Defending Bayside Conference champion Easton, which returns most of its players from last year’s 22-2 campaign — including North division Player of the Year Myia Jeter.
Underdog Kent County built its unexpected lead after Mattie Cesarini swished a pair of 3-pointers and freshman Ty’Aishah “Ty” Moody made a layup.
Easton closed the opening period with 13 unanswered points as part of a larger 35-5 sprint to halftime, and coasted to its ninth win of the season, 71-36.
Jeter led all scorers with 26 points, and was one of three Warriors to reach double figures. She did most of her damage after halftime, scoring seven points in the third quarter and 10 more in the final frame.
Kayla Collins (10 points) was the only Kent player to score in double digits. Cesarini finished with six points, the two 3s she scored in the opening quarter. Freshmen Moody, Alyssa Thomason and Aaliyah Houston each scored four.
Inconsistent officiating cursed the Trojans, whose starters were in foul trouble before halftime. Cesarini, Collins and Moody ultimately fouled out, and two others each finished with four fouls.
Kent led 25-14 in fouls, and put Easton in the double bonus in each half.
“It was a tough game, but I was happy with the way our girls played,” said Kent coach Tishara Collins. “We lost by 50 points last year, so this shows we’re moving in the right direction. ... I’m looking forward to the rematch” at Kent on Feb. 11, she said.
Despite opening up a 35-13 lead at intermission, and adding to it after halftime, Easton played its five starters in all four quarters.
Kent (4-4) picked up its first win of the new year Tuesday, Jan. 7 at home against Snow Hill, 62-28. Coach Collins cleared her bench and received scoring from nine of the 10 players who dressed for the game.
“The energy was high on the floor and on the bench,” the coach said.
Kayla Collins led the way with 26 points. Sierra Frain added 12, all on 3-point shots, and Moody joined the double-digit club with 10 points.
Also contributing on the scoreboard were Houston, Logan Pinder, Ally Hickman, Sydney Usilton, Deja Dawson and Olivia Jones.
Pinder, Collins and Frain knocked down 3-pointers in the opening period to help Kent build a modest 17-10 lead. Collins scored 11 of Kent’s 15 second-quarter points as the advantage grew to 32-16.
Frain, Dawson and Houston carried the home team offensively in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 42-22.
Snow Hill was held to six points in each of the second, third and fourth quarters.