No. 3 Kayla Bonilla put on a three-point shooting clinic in route to the Lady Blazers’ 68-62 GSC semifinals game against the Union University Lady Bulldogs on Saturday. Most of her points stemmed from the third quarter.
The story is the Lady Blazers knocking No. 1 seeded Union out of the Gulf South Tournament, but this wouldn’t have been the case without Bonilla’s heroics.
Coming out in the first quarter, the Lady Blazers seemed lethargic on the offensive side, settling behind the three-point line instead of driving the ball to the basket.
Bonilla wasn’t immune to the team’s struggles as she opened the game with five points on 2-5 shooting from the field and 1-4 from the beyond the arc.
Then in the second quarter, the struggles continued. Bonilla shot 1-3 from the field, only scoring three points.
She also failed to stay out of the way of fouls, picking up three in only the first half as the Lady Blazers went into halftime down 30-24.
When the second half rolled around, Bonilla flipped a switch.
The third quarter was KB’s quarter.
She erupted for fifteen points right out of the break.
“I saw a lot of openings because they were guarding my teammates tight,” said Bonilla. “It gave me open driving lanes and shots. So, I took them.”
Bonilla didn’t miss a single shot in the third quarter, knocking down all five of her shots taken, including three three-pointers.
Her teammates deferred to her and there was nothing Union could do to stop her as she was in a rhythm and would not be denied.
The fourth quarter was quiet for Bonilla offensively as she only scored three points as the Lady Bulldogs reverted to double-teaming her throughout the fourth quarter.
But she played hard with a possible foul out coming as she had four to her name.
That didn’t deter her as she continued to dive for loose balls, leap for rebounds, and go for steals as if she didn’t have any fouls.
“The kid can play,” Head Coach Carley Kuhns said. “She’s tough as nails as she played with confidence leading her to make big plays.”
Her herculean efforts Saturday has the Lady Blazers slated for a GSC Championship Sunday against Lee University.
“We know we can play with them, we’ve seen them before,” Bonilla said. “We’re going to go out and get after it.”
Bonilla’s final stat line was: 30 points (career high), five rebounds, and two steals.
Her shooting totals were: 8-16 FG, 5-8 3-PT, and 9-10 from the charity stripe.
She will be in action next for the GSC title Sunday against Lee University at 1:30 E.T. and will be broadcasted on ESPN3.
Written by Gerald Thomas III, Engagement Editor. Photo by Juston Lewis, Editor-in-chief.
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