Gonrezick sisters too muchPublished 10:34pm Wednesday, February 27, 2013
STEVENSVILLE — Dowagiac girls basketball coach Floyd Foston saw Benton Harbor’s Kysre and Kalabrya Gondrezick play for the first time Wednesday as the Chieftains faced the Tigers in a Class B opening round district game.
Foston witnessed what opponents have seen throughout the season. The two sisters are Division I talents that can dominate a high school girls basketball game.
Kysre, who’s a freshman, scored a career-high 43 points, including six 3-pointers, to go with her nine steals, while Kalabrya, who’s a sophomore, added 13 points and five rebounds as Benton Harbor rolled past Dowagiac, 80-16.
Kysre’s previous scoring high was 41 points.
“I had just heard about them,” said Foston about Gondrezick sisters. “I had never seen them play. They’re as good as people say they are. They’re solid players. They’re still young and they’re going to learn and get better. I haven’t seen a girl shoot the ball as well as No. 2 (Kysre) did tonight in a long time.”
After Dowagiac pulled within 10-6 on a rebound basket from Ciera Smith with 4:50 left in the first quarter, Benton Harbor dominated the game, turning Chieftain turnovers into easy baskets.
The Tigers took a 50-9 lead into halftime and a mercy-rule running clock would run throughout the second half. Dowagiac had 24 of its 33 turnovers in the first half.
The highlight of the first half came when Kysre Gondrezick made a layup off a behind-the-back pass from Kalabrya.
“We were up against a good ball club,” Foston said. “I told our girls (before the game) that we didn’t have anything to lose. I just wanted our team to come out and play hard and do their best. I think we handled their (defensive) pressure early on for a few minutes. Benton Harbor is a strong team and we caught them at their best.”
In the first half, the Tigers shot 55 percent the from field and had only four turnovers.
Foston was asked what he told his team at halftime after a rough first 16 minutes.
“We came into the game knowing that we were in a difficult situation,” the Dowagiac coach said. “Benton Harbor’s a solid team. I just tried to encourage our team at halftime. I told them that we had 16 more minutes and we were doing the best we could (in the first half). As a coach that’s all I can ask for.”
Dennee Brown scored 12 points and Nashaye Sutton added 10 for the Tigers, who advanced into the district finals on Friday at Lakeshore High School.
Sophomore Rayven Brown scored six points and grabbed five rebounds to lead the Chieftains.
Foston, who was in his first year coaching at Dowagiac, expects improvement next year.
“We have to learn from this season,” Foston said. “The girls have to get into the gym during the summer and have to work to get better. It’s a cultural change for this program from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top. Attitudes, mindsets and work ethics have to change. The girls that are serious will work hard to get better. I believe during the summer is the time that you get better. If you don’t put in the time you’re not going to improve. I’ve already told the girls on a couple of occasions that if I don’t see them in the summer I don’t want to see them in November. I’m looking for girls that want to work and get better. They got a feel for me now and I got feel for them. With us working together and an improved work ethic and attitude we can turn this thing around.”
Amanda Craft 2, Rayven Brown 6, Jenesis Green 0, Ciera Smith 4, Kristyn Turner 1, Kylee Williams 0, Riley Daly 0, Alex Carey 1, Brianna McCuddy 2. TOTALS: 7 2-6 16
BENTON HARBOR 80
Kysre Gondrezick 43, Kalabrya Gondrezick 13, Kayla Dumas 0, Dennee Brown 12, Nashaye Sutton 10, Eulasia Ellis 0, Takera Pierce 2, Sinnamon Shelby 0, Shaniya Campbell 0, Ashante Jordan 0, Brianna Rimpson 0. TOTALS: 35 3-7 80
Dowagiac 6 9 14 16
Benton Harbor 6 50 69 80
3-point goals: Dowagiac (none), Benton Harbor 7 (Kysre Gondrezick 6, Sutton). Total fouls (fouled out): Dowagiac 5 (none), Benton Harbor 10 (none). Shooting: Dowagiac 7-of-27 for 26-percent, Benton Harbor 35-of-63 for 56-percent. Rebounding: Benton Harbor 24 (Kalabrya Gondrezick and Sutton 5 each), Dowagiac 19 (Brown 5). Turnovers: Benton Harbor 6, Dowagiac 33. Varsity records: Dowagiac 0-21, Benton Harbor 17-5