UNIONTOWN — Kennedy Cornick said Francis Scott Key’s girls basketball team does its homework.
The Eagles study film, practice, and quickly turn their weaknesses into strengths. This strategy has been working for the team so far, and they used a 10-0 first quarter run to defeat visiting Lansdowne 58-28 to remain undefeated at 3-0.
“We apply everything that we do in practice on the court and in our games,” said Cornick, a senior forward. “Our coach has always followed through with us, he’s very vocal and hands-on. if we’re ever stuck in anything, he can draw up a play easily and we’re able to do it as soon as he tells us. Listening is a very big factor of why we’re so successful on the court.”
FSK won two county games last season and compiled a 6-16 record. The Eagles are coached by TJ Develin this year, the team’s third coach in as many seasons. Upperclassmen fill most of the Eagles’ roster, led by Cornick, guard Bailey Mathias, and forward Karla Stonesifer.
The Eagles boast four juniors and one freshman, Savannah Brooks.
Brooks has made an early impact for the Eagles, and she scored 10 points against the Vikings — Cornick referred to Brooks as a team “asset.”
“I think we all get together really well,” Brooks said. “Everybody’s jelling in and being friends and it really helps on the court when there’s that kind of chemistry because the passes are better and everybody knows where each other is on the court.”
Stonesifer scored a team-high 12 points, 10 of which came in the first half. Cornick notched eight points and Mathias sank nine.
Develin said the girls have done an outstanding job buying in to man-to-man defense. They held the Vikings to to single digits in every quarter — five points in the first, six in the second, nine in the third and eight in the fourth.
“The chemistry from playing together for so long shows,” Develin said. “It’s awesome that sometimes I can just kind of kick back and let them do it. They can do it and I can trust them with that.”
A pair of points from Cornick sparked a 6-0 run for the Eagles late in the second half and Mathias hit a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to give the Eagles a 27-11 lead. The girls went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the third quarter and continued to rack up points to carry a 47-20 lead in to the final frame.
Vikings senior guard Na’Keesha Williams hit a 3 to trim the deficit to 52-23 with less than four minutes remaining in the game. Williams scored six points, Jasmine Schouster had eight and Samiya Esema notched a team-high 14 points for the Vikings (0-2).
“We’ve found a lot of early success, which is good,” Develin said. “I think that’s going to help the girls buy in to what we’re doing, which is important to me because I just want to trust the girls and build a program that’s going to be competitive and play hard and all those kind of fundamentals.”
Francis Scott Key (58): Karla Stonesifer 12, Kirstin Kurtz 2, Devyn Schuman 6, Savannah Brooks 10, Rachel Wright 2, Bailey Mathias 9, Kennedy Cornick 8, Jordan Eaves 4, Emily Dell 5.
Lansdowne (28): Jasmine Schouster 8, Samiya Esema 14, Na’Keesha Williams 6.
Halftime: FSK, 24-11.