After a loss to Middleton High last week, Kuna girls basketball coach Alex Jensen decided he was talking too much.
Intent on letting his players rely more on their instincts and less on his instruction in the heat of the moment, Jensen buttoned up during a wild fourth quarter against rival Bishop Kelly on Friday night.
His Kavemen delivered with a 59-58 win on the Knights’ home court, which moves Kuna into a one-game lead in the 4A Southern Idaho Conference.
Bishop Kelly (12-4, 3-2) beat Kuna (11-3, 4-1) in two-of-three meetings last season, including a 51-46 defeat in the district championship.
“They’ve kind of had our number,” Jensen said of the Knights. “Two games ago, we lost to Middleton, and I told the girls, ‘I am talking too much, and you guys aren’t playing on your own enough.’
“So the last two games I’ve shut my mouth, and the girls have scored almost 60 (points) two games in a row.”
Senior Allison Law was Kuna’s rock, establishing herself as an inside-outside threat with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
“I’ve told her all year, you’ve got the green light (to shoot 3s) because I know you can make it,” Jensen said. “When you feel comfortable, let it fly.”
Law, a 6-foot forward, nailed a 3 midway through the second quarter and was inches inside the arc for another at the start of the fourth quarter. She shot 60 percent from the field (9-of-15) and made a game-winning reverse layup with about 7 seconds left.
“It was a screen-the-screener play. I was going to go down and screen for someone, and then they screened for me just so I could get open,” Law said. “I love going baseline, so that helped.”
Added Kuna sophomore Meghan Holloman: “I saw her go past the hoop and I was like, ‘What is she doing?’ Then she made it, and I almost forgot to play defense because I was so excited that we’d pulled it off.”
The Knights called a timeout following Law’s basket and had 6.4 seconds to try for a game-winner. Bishop Kelly got the ball downcourt, but missed the shot.
Kuna and BK meet again at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Kuna.
“Everybody is just right there with one another. It just depends on the day,” Bishop Kelly coach Derek McCormick said. “I think our league standings kind of show that. It fluctuates. Every week somebody beats somebody else, and everybody stays right there in the pack.”
In a game that featured eight lead changes and nine ties, BK senior Gabi Harrington led all scorers with 35 points, including a 6-for-11 performance from 3-point range. The Montana signee was playing her first full game since spraining her left ankle.