The Phillips Exeter Academy girls basketball team took care of business on their home court, defeating Thayer Academy 53-26 on Saturday afternoon. Exeter played tough, scrappy defense all game, especially sophomore Peace Kabari (Manchester, NH) who had 10 rebounds and 6 steals on the game. Thayer played hard but they are really lacking in offensive firepower. Exeter lead 30-16 at halftime and the outcome of the game was never really in doubt during the 2nd half. Kabari, Yvonne Dean -Bailey (Northwood, NH), Courtney Henrich (Candia, NH) and Nicole Heavirland all scored in double figures for the Crimson.
Exeter jumped out to a 7-0 lead early, then Kabari grabbed an offensive board and went up strong with the put-back and Dean-Bailey hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key. A few minutes later Henrich hit a 3 of her own from the top of the key off a kick out, showing a quick release. Then Henrich grabbed a steal and quickly passed it ahead on the break to Kabari, who went up strong at the rim and got to the line.
Then Heavirland had 2 quick buckets, with the first one being a fast break layup and the second one being a pull-up jumper from the elbow as Exeter went up 23-10 with 5:27 left in the 1st half forcing Thayer to call a timeout. Kabari made another great steal, fired a pass ahead to Henrich who immediately dished it to Heavirland for a layup in transition. Dean-Bailey hit another 3 as Exeter was really rolling, up 30-16 at halftime.
Thayer Academy was cold offensively in the 1st half, but they were even colder in the 2nd. Dean-Bailey hit a pull-up jumper jumper from the foul line, then Henrich drilled back-to-back threes. Exeter now led 43-22 with 6:15 remaining. Then Kabari again showed great strength and athleticism, catching it inside on a baseline out of bounds play and going up for an and-1 finish. Kabari was hustling on defense and on the boards, she's only about 5-foot-7 but with leaping ability and strength plays more like 5-foot-11. Dean-Bailey continued to shoot well, hitting a runner in the lane and then another 3-pointer. Exeter cruised from there for the 53-26 win.