Kennedale contained Texas commit Sedona Prince and Liberty Hill all day during its 66-43 victory on Friday to win the Whataburger Girls Blue Division at Saginaw High School.
All tournament long the Wildcats (22-3) stuck to the same game plan – keep it close in the first half then pour it on in the second half.
A 15-13 first quarter lead for Kennedale quickly turned into a 31-20 halftime margin. The Panthers never recovered.
“What we do requires a lot of energy, and they bring it,” Kennedale head coach Doug Watson said. “Like I told them, when you’re facing really good teams, you’re going to have make runs, and just the way it worked out in the second half we were able to do that so I’m very blessed to coach them.”
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The Wildcats, ranked No. 4 in Class 4A by TABC, scored the first five points of the third quarter to go ahead 36-20. A 3-pointer by Payton Williams and back-to-back baskets by Lucy Benson made it 45-27 midway through the period.
Evie Whorley and Sydnee Biscoe made the all-tournament team. Benson was named tourney MVP with 21 points, eight rebounds and six steals.
“She’s kind of our do-it-all,” Watson said of Benson. “She played out of her mind in this tournament and she really came along – did a good job rebounding the ball and finishing around the basket. She really stepped up her game.”
Kennedale, which extended its lead to 20 points in the fourth, got nine points, five boards, seven assists and three steals from Whorley. Kylie Embry had eight points and seven rebounds and Taylor Austin added eight points, four boards and five assists.
The 6-foot-7 Prince, ranked No. 9 by ESPN for the 2018 class, had 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks for the No. 2 Panthers (23-2).