Firestone couldn’t slow Kenmore down inside and the Cardinals used a big second half to beat the Falcons 56-46 Thursday night in a City Series game at Firestone.

Kenmore (4-1, 2-0) dominated Firestone (1-1) in rebounding all night. Sophomore Casey McCormick led the Cardinals with 16 rebounds, including four on one possession. Senior Porshae Hearn scored 18 points for Kenmore, which outscored Firestone 30-20 in the second half.

Firestone coach Audley McGill was prepared for the rebounding disadvantage, but says it’s still a problem that will need to be resolved.

“They outrebounded us 3-1, guaranteed,” McGill said. “But we knew coming in what we had to do, and we didn’t do it. You can’t blame this on one individual, as a team we didn’t get it done.”

Kenmore coach Yontami Jones spent much of the second half fist-pumping after several key plays, and let out a scream of “I’m so excited” after the game had ended.

“I’m so proud of my girls,” Jones said. “Yeah, I’m pretty excited.”

Hearn led the charge with 13 points after halftime, including a couple of key 3-pointers and back-to-back three-point plays near the rim in the fourth quarter. She also set up multiple baskets and took a couple of charges.

“Porshae, her objective today was, ‘If I don’t get to shoot that much, I don’t care. They’re going to double-team me anyway, so you guys gotta step up and play.’ And she did that,” Jones said.

McCormick had 11 points and seven steals to go along with her game-high 16 rebounds.

“Casey was just awesome today,” Jones said. “As soon as she gets the touch on that shot, she’s going to be unstoppable.”

Thursday night was also the unveiling of freshman Sarah Taylor to the rivalry. Taylor had a hand in a handful of steals, took a couple of charges and even took an elbow to the face but only missed two minutes. She also scored eight points, six in the first half, to keep Kenmore tied with Firestone 26-26.

“Sarah’s defense was phenomenal,” Jones said. “She hustled, she got hurt a little bit and came back. And she played with three fouls for a long time but was smart and didn’t foul out.”

Firestone was led offensively by senior Imani Scott, who scored 18 points, and defensively by junior Brooke Morgan, who had seven steals.

But in this game, the Falcons weren’t able to execute the game plan drawn up by McGill.

“We didn’t follow the game plan and that was one of our major problems,” he said. “We simplified it, we didn’t follow it. That was the No. 1 reason we lost.”

Kenmore played Thursday night a bit short-handed and held the ball for much of the third quarter, daring Firestone to be aggressive. It worked as Hearn scored five points in the quarter and McCormick added a couple of baskets off second-chance points to build an eight-point advantage.

“We didn’t have a lot of subs today,” Jones said. “I figured we’re on top, let’s just hold the ball and get some rest. If they come at us, then we’ll take it to them.”

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com.