Kinston falls to Jacksonville in John Wall Invitational
Kinston's Sheriece Jones is pressured by Jacksonville's Mia Tucker in Thursday's game. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
RALEIGH | Kinston submitted a stronger effort, but Jacksonville was more than ready for the challenge.
The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 70-40 in the consolation bracket of The John Wall Holiday Invitational Girls' bracket Thursday. Jacksonville started fast and never looked back as the Cardinals will play in Friday's fifth-place game.
"We were able to come out and execute today," Jacksonville coach Monique Gidrey said. "We worked on different offenses and defenses to keep everyone involved for our ultimate goal of the state championship."
Kinston scored the game's first points on a Taliyah Jones drive, but Jacksonville went on a 17-0 run to establish control. The Vikings went about nine minutes without a field goal and the Cardinals extended their lead to as many as 24, taking a 40-20 lead into halftime.
"We were just out there having fun, playing the game we love," Jacksonville's Kennedy Todd-Williams said. "Our defense turned into offense and we got a lot of steals."
Jacksonville kept control in the second half, going up by as many as 33.
"Our communication on defense was a lot better today," Cardinals forward Nia Mitchels said. "We stayed on our feet, helped out a lot and kept a good pace."
Kinston coach Christopher Bradshaw said he knew the Vikings were in for a tough matchup, but the team competed.
"The game got away from us in the beginning, but we battled, especially in the second and third quarter," Bradshaw said. "The girls continued to play hard, which is all I can ask for."
For Jacksonville, Todd-Williams scored 24 points with seven steals and six rebounds while Indya Hill added 11. For Kinston, Jones scored 18 points with Michyla Dove adding eight points, four rebounds and three assists.