City Series girls basketball playoff championship scouting report
Teams: Kenmore (15-4, 12-0) vs. Firestone (13-7, 10-2)
When: 7 p.m. Thursday.
Where: Buchtel High School.
Coaches: Audley McGill of Firestone and Yontami Jones of Kenmore.
Notebook: The Cardinals defeated the Falcons twice in the regular season and won the regular-season percentage title. Kenmore won the first meeting at Firestone 56-46 on Nov. 29 and the second meeting at home 72-52 at home on Jan. 10. Expect to see Kenmore start senior Porshae Hearn, freshman Sarah Taylor and junior Shannon Hall at guard, with sophomore Casey McCormick and senior Brandi Good at forward. Sophomores Whiauanna Jeffries and Marshae Smith are key reserves for the Cardinals. McGill returned to the sideline for Firestone's last game against GlenOak after missing three games due to pneumonia. Assistant Reggie Floyd filled the role of interim coach while McGill rested. Expect to see Firestone start seniors Imani Scott, Brea Forney and Brooke Morgan at guard, with senior Mishae Roper and sophomore Darian Carter at forward. The Falcons top two reserves are junior Yolanda Sims and sophomore Janelle Perry.
History: Joe Howard, the Akron Public Schools Program Manager of Interscholastic Athletics, said the City Series girls basketball playoff championship game started in 1972. Firestone and Kenmore have combined to win every City Series playoff title since 2001. The Falcons won their first league playoff title in 1998 and then won seven in a row from 2001 to 2007. The Cardinals won the league playoff title in 2008 and 2009, and then the Falcons won in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Overall, Firestone has won or shared eight regular-season league titles, including seven of the past 11. Kenmore has won or shared nine regular-season league titles and earned five league playoff titles. Buchtel has won or shared the most regular-season league titles with 14, including 11 in a row in 1980-1990. The Falcons have the most league playoff titles with 11. The Griffins are second on the list with 10.
— Michael Beaven