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Kent City girls basketball "not afraid of a challenge" this season

Unbeaten Eagles schedule tough non-conference
Kent City girls basketball off to 7-0 start
Posted at 7:16 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 23:06:51-05

KENT CITY, Mich. — With just seven players on their varsity roster this season, the Kent City girls basketball team is off to a 7-0 start with an average margin of victory of 53 points per game.

Now, they're scheduling a tough non-conference schedule with bigger programs like Muskegon, Cedar Springs and now, top-ranked East Grand Rapids.

"We'll take that challenge, the worst that can happen is we get beat," said head coach, Scott Carlson.

Kent City girls basketball "Not afraid of a challenge"

And the Eagles players say they want to play against the best.

"We're not afraid to have a challenge and we're not going to back down from it," added senior guard, Jenna Harrison.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Kent City's 7-0 start this season is the fact they have only seven players on their roster, a decision made by head coach Scott Carlson, mainly due to COVID-19 and the possibility of a shutdown.

"We're keeping our circle tight," Carlson said, "we don't ride the bus with the junior varsity players, we don't practice with them, it's seven players in a practice. We don't get any five-on-five in, we don't get any scrimmaging, either."

Having a bench with just two players on it during games is a bit of a double edged sword.

"Just hopefully nobody gets hurt," chuckled senior guard, Kenzie Bowers, "it's been weird, but luckily we have a talented seven so nobody is left behind and everyone knows what to do."

The team is led by Bowers and fellow senior Jenna Harrison, who have combined for over 2,500 in their varsity careers.

Bowers is also the program's all-time leading scorer but Harrison says the other five can play just as well.

"Having seven that we can rely on and trust is a good feeling," she said, "we're all like sisters and get along really well."

The Eagles have had some lopsided wins this season, including a 125-12 win in their first game of the season and a 70 point victory last week.

However, with just seven players on the roster and a focus on improving throughout the season, the players say they want to keep pressing forward.

"We play Kent City basketball, we don't play down to anybody's level just because we're beating them so bad," Harrison added, "we don't want to play keep away with them and they don't want to play keep away with the ball."

While Kent City is dominating in conference play, the small Class C program has scheduled a tough non-conference schedule including the state's top-ranked team in East Grand Rapids on March 6.

"We've got nothing to lose," Carlson said on the schedule, "it gets us ready for the tournament and we find out what we need to work on."

After postseason losses to Pewamo-Westphalia each of the last three seasons, the Eagles have confidence that this season could be different.

"It's a little bit different confidence level with this group, there's no backing down at all," added Carlson.

And the players are focused on getting over that hump come March.

"I think we all have a lot of confidence, we know we're good," Bowers added, "we have confidence we'll have a good postseason run and win a lot of games."