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Eagles tip-off at Coe Brown in the playoffs Tuesday

CONWAY — The Kennett High girls basketball team will be on the road for the opening round of the Division II playoffs this Tuesday, but the Eagles will play a familiar foe — Coe-Brown Northwood Academy.

The ninth seeded Eagles travel to the eighth ranked Bears Tuesday at 7 p.m. with a trip to the Elite 8 on the line. Both teams finished the regular season with identical 11-7 records.

Kennett won the lone meeting between the clubs on Jan. 18 in Redstone, easily dismantling Coe-Brown 63-32.

"It was a night where we hit everything we put up," Larry Meader, Eagles' head coach, said. "We shot the lights out and took (Coe-Brown) out of their game plan early. Jordan (Murphy) had 22 points, including six three-pointers, and Juliauna (Dunlop) had 23, including a three, and we couldn't miss from the outside. If we can hit everything from the outside again (on Tuesday) we'll be okay."

Meader likes the match-up with the Bears.

"They're not all that big which should help us," he said. "They like to run and press, and for us in the first game we slowed the tempo down because we basically held them to one shot and they were done. We've got to do a good job on the boards and make sure every trip down the court is a good one."

Coe-Brown comes into the playoffs having won five of its last six games, including the final three of the regular season. The Bears topped Kingswood in Wolfeboro 64-51 on Friday night in the regular season finale.

Kennett, who sat in the top four for much of the season, enters the post-season having dropped five of its last six contests, including falling 48-40 at Oyster River on Friday in the regular season finale.

"We played well after the first quarter," Meader said. "We got behind 18-8 and were never able to dig our way out of the hole. We played even every quarter or beat them in it after that.

"We came out flat and were never able to get over the hump," he added. "We were able to get it down to three, but never got any closer."

Against the much taller Bobcats, the Eagles were able to find some success by going to the hoop and drawing contact and getting to the free throw line. KHS was 10-12 from the charity stripe while freshman Dunlop led the way going 8-10.

"We also played pretty well defensively after the first quarter," Meader said. "Amanda Nusbaum did a very nice job defensively. She got a huge five seconds call on the Oyster River point guard when we were down three. We had a chance to get within three after that, but we couldn't convert."

Dunlop led all scorers on the night with a game-high 19 points. Murphy added eight; Lauren Kidder, four; Kaylin Samia, four; and Gwynn McGinley, three.

The Eagles will be without senior Lauren White for the fifth straight game while she continues to recover from a concussion. White, who led Kennett in rebounding this season and was among the top scorers, was held to just two points in the first meeting with Coe-Brown but was a force on the boards.
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