Brooks Nets Career-Best 30

Sophomore Guard Boosts Struggling Streaks Past Handley

Posted: January 20, 2014

Special Correspondent

HARRISONBURG – Kendyl Brooks was “on fire,” and that was enough to give the Harrisonburg High School girls’ basketball team a rare win this season.

Brooks, a sophomore guard, scored a career-high 30 points as the Blue Streaks beat Handley 66-52 Saturday.

The game was postponed due to snow Wednesday, but Brooks and her teammates got off to a blazing start against the Judges (1-9) to notch only their third victory of the 2013-14 season.

“I thought we played outstanding,” Harrisonburg coach William Bayer said. “We, for the first time in a while, really played well as a team. And, of course, Kendyl Brooks was on fire, so that didn’t hurt.”

Brooks – daughter of James Madison University women’s basketball coach Kenny Brooks – hit six 3-pointers in the first half en route to 22 points before halftime, with Harrisonburg (3-12) using an 18-3 run in the second quarter to go into the break with a 34-17 lead.

“Not only did she score, she played great defense,” Bayer said. “But even when they switched [up the defense], she was still aggressive enough. And her teammates were patient enough to get her the ball.”

Despite being down by 17 points to start the second half, Handley did rally. Led by sophomore guard Alysandra Worrell and sophomore forward Angelica Robinson, the Judges went on a 19-5 run in the third quarter – highlighted by Worrell’s layup with 56 seconds left in the period – to cut Harrisonburg’s lead to one, 39-38.

But the Streaks made good use of their woes this season to extend their lead. HHS is familiar with being on the other side of a comeback attempt, and that apparently helped it hold off the visitors from Winchester.

“The one thing I know from experience is, because we’ve been behind so much, it takes a huge amount of energy to come back,” Bayer said. “And it just seems like, when a team comes all the way back, and doesn’t quite do it, that they tend to fall right back down. I told our kids to just keep playing, and play hard. And it really did work out.”

After Worrell’s layup, Harrisonburg scored the final six points of the third quarter to take a 45-38 lead into the fourth period. Handley kept it close in the first two minutes of the quarter – Worrell hit two free throws with 6:10 to play to cut the Blue Streaks’ lead to 47-45 – but Harrisonburg outscored the Judges 17-7 the rest of the way to take home the 14-point win.

HHS’s Mariah King scored 11 points during the late run.

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