Waterford Kettering ran through a gauntlet of three division opponents this past week and now stands alone as the Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) North Division champion with a perfect record.
The Captains defeated Huron Valley Lakeland, Walled Lake Northern and Walled Lake Central to clinch the North Division title and remain undefeated at 16-0, finishing the division schedule with a perfect 10-0 record.
Kettering began this season considered as a North title contender, but not many could have seen that the Captains would emerge as one of the most dominant teams in the lakes area.
Kettering Head Coach Scott Woodhull said three things that make the Captains a great team are their deep bench, pushing each other hard in practice, and their commitment to each other.
“(Our bench) creates issues for other teams when they have to sub,” he said. “They are playing against players who would be starting at a large number of schools. One of the ideas that we have tried to instill in our girls over the last two years is that we want them to understand that having a mentality of becoming better as daughters, students, friends and players will over the long haul will make the group stronger.”
Kettering began the week at home facing the team chasing them in the North Division, Huron Valley Lakeland, on Monday, Feb. 7 in a makeup game, and defeated the Eagles 43-35.
The Captains had a 12-point lead early in the game, but Lakeland (13-3, 8-2) fought back and cut Kettering’s lead to 20-19 at halftime.
After a low-scoring third quarter, the Captains pulled away by outscoring Lakeland 16-10 in the fourth and by shooting 9-for-10 from the free-throw line.
Allison Bicknell led Kettering with 14 points while Hannah Stinson followed with 8 points as the Captains clinched a share of the KLAA North Division.
Kettering then traveled to Walled Lake Northern on Tuesday, Feb. 8 and easily dispatched the Knights, 63-32, to secure the KLAA North Division outright.
Rachel Smith (11 points), Arjanai Washington (15 points) and Tailer Roscoe (10 points) combined for 36 points, as Kettering’s bench flexed its muscle.
The only question remaining was if Kettering could finish division play with a perfect record. The Captains answered with a 54-23 victory in front of their home fans on Friday, Feb. 11.
Bicknell had 13 points for Kettering and Washington followed with 11 points.
Next up for Kettering is the KLAA Lakes Conference Tournament, which began yesterday, Tuesday, Feb. 15 at Howell, with the winner facing either Waterford Mott or Grand Blanc on Friday, Feb. 18.
The Lakes Conference title game will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 22.