The Cougars are capable of scoring in waves and that has not changed this season. But, something is new this year and that is defense.
Kenton Ridge is 21-1 and finished No. 5 in the final Division II state poll.
“This is probably by far the best defensive team I have had here,” said Foulk. “Normally we just try to outscore everyone and say you score we score, lets go. We mix it up (defensively), but our basic defense is a 1-3-1 defense and we try to trap out of it.”
A big reason for that change is senior guard and St. Peter’s College signee Sakara House. The 5-foot-9 House has turned Foulk’s 1-3-1 trapping defense into a brick wall for opponents. Using a combination of speed and basketball smarts, House owns the school record for steals in a season and creates headaches for opponents. She’s averaging 7.2 thefts per game.
Making life even better for the veteran coach is the fact that he has more than one House on the team. Joining Sakara on the varsity is her little sister Saira House.
The duo creates a very effective one-two punch.
“It makes it very tough for teams with Sakara and Saira up front,” said Foulk.
Like her sister, Saira is playing a big role defensively, but after all this is Kenton Ridge and the offense is still alive and well. But unlike years past, the defense has become a big part of the offense.
Combined the House sisters are averaging 34 points per game. Sakara came into the tournament sporting nearly a 20 point per game average, while Saira was hitting for 14.
It was Saira who made the first impression in the tournament, dropping 34 points on Graham in the opening round. The next game it was back to Sakara, who hit for 20 against Northwestern. The Cougars won both games handily, advancing to another Sectional Final, where they will play Dayton Carroll Friday at Vandalia.
“Saira is really starting to come on for us scoring-wise,” Foulk said. “Saira is a better outside shooter, but isn’t near the passer her sister is. Sakara’s outside shot is really improving and she has been shooting well.”
For the Cougars to advance past a talented Carroll club they will need a big game from their sister duo, especially Sakara. Taking control of the team and games is her specialty and something she has been doing for four seasons. House averaged 17 points per game as freshman.
“Together they are very interesting,” Foulk said. “There are times when I am ready to yell at them to get into position but they are just baiting the team. They are just so quick.