XENIA — Not even a sprained thumb on her shooting hand could stop Kathleen Ahner from having a career night Monday.
In a rivalry game against Dayton Christian, the Legacy Christian Academy senior notched a career-best 31 points and made a school-record eight three-point field goals as the Knights won their third straight game, 64-36.
Ahner, who suffered the minor injury against Chaminade-Julienne last week, had the right thumb taped, but she swished shot after shot, scoring 22 in the first half as the Knights (3-1 overall, 2-0 Metro Buckeye Conference) built an insurmountable 42-14 halftime lead.
She made five threes in the first half, and three in the second.
“I don’t think it messed with me too much,” Ahner said. “My shot felt good. I felt good. I just let it rip.”
Ahner came out hot, scoring nine points to give the Knights a quick 14-6 lead that became a 21-11 lead after the first quarter. She had 16 points, and fellow senior Emma Hess scored five.
Ahner added six more points in the second quarter, while senior Katie Leach added 10 as Legacy continued to roll. The Knights held DC scoreless from the 6:16 mark of the second quarter until the 5:44 mark of the third quarter, forcing a plethora of turnovers that ended any realistic thoughts of a comeback by DC (3-3 overall, 0-1 MBC).
“It’s a rivalry game,” Ahner said. “You’ve got to get up for these. Us seniors, we really feel it. It’s our last year. We want to leave our legacy.”
That’s exactly what Coach Mark Combs was hoping for from Ahner, Hess, and Leach, the only seniors to play for the freshmen and sophomore-laden Knights.
“I was proud of all our seniors,” Combs said. “We need our seniors to lead. The rest of the girls followed.”
Leach finished with 12 points, while Hess finished with seven in limited action due to what appeared to be a minor facial injury. But all eyes were on Ahner, who had one of those shooting nights that once led Michael Jordan to look at the official scorer and just shrug his shoulders.
“She was tough,” Combs said. “The great thing about Kathleen is it’s just not a fluke. The way she works, she merits what she gets. Tonight she had it going. She was feeling it. She gets it going like that, she’s a tough out.”
Combs was also pleased with his team’s second-half performance
“We had some good first halves and haven’t really followed it up,” Combs said.
Junior Frances Park chipped in nine points for Legacy, which hosts Troy Christian Thursday.