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LYNN — The KIPP Academy girls basketball team found a winning formula Tuesday evening when the Panthers hosted Excel. KIPP scored early and often, built a comfortable lead and played stout defense the rest of the way. The end result was 45-15 win for the Panthers, KIPP’s third victory of the season.
KIPP captains Nayeli Germosen and Destiny Coley-Payas each scored 16 points to lead the Panthers in the right direction.
“Nayeli and Destiny are two of our captains,” KIPP assistant coach Priscilla Chancy, who filled in for head coach Andrea DeAngelo for Tuesday’s game, said. “They’re really strong leaders on the court. They’ll tell the girls what they’re doing wrong and also how to fix it. They provide strong direction on the court and they’re highly skilled players. They’re both great guards.”
Naudia Resnek added seven points and Kayla Keel finished with five points in the winning effort.
The Panthers took advantage of their opportunities in the first half and set the tone from the early going. KIPP worked its way to a 25-14 lead at the end of the first half, the start the Panthers were hoping for.
“We usually try to get them to come out strong and get a good, strong lead in the first half,” Chancy said. “We play hard and aggressive in the first half and that makes it easier for us in the second half. It raises our confidence.”
The shots began to fall in for the Panthers in the second half, allowing them to stretch their advantage, and the rout was on. Back-to-back jump shots from Germosen and Nancy Sylla bumped the Panther’s lead to 31-14. From there, the Panthers stormed to a 14-0 run that took the wind out of Excel’s sails and sealed the victory. Germosen capped the run with a pair of lay-ins.
“It was nice to see us making our shots in the end,” Chancy said. “It wasn’t really normal for us to miss as many shots as we did. It was nice to close the gap and I think our confidence boosted (in the second half).”
Strong defense was also key for KIPP throughout the second half. The Panthers held Excel to just three points in the second half (scored on a hook shot and a free throw), and KIPP cruised to the 45-15 victory.
KIPP (3-3) is back in action on Friday night (7) when the Panthers visit Cambridge Charter in hopes of pulling above .500.