To look at the numbers, it would seem obvious why the combination of Andrea Pardilla and Jody Kenniston is one of the reasons that the Old Town girls basketball team is 5-0 and tied with Cony for first in the Eastern Maine Class A standings.
Pardilla, the 6-foot-1 center, has been averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. Kenniston, the starting point guard, averages 16 points, six steals, and five assists per game. Both players have reached the 1,000-point mark.
But beyond the stats, Pardilla and Kenniston are effective because they work so well together, Old Town coach Garry Spencer said.
The two have played basketball together since they were in sixth grade, including three years on the Old Town team and several seasons with an AAU squad.
“I’m very comfortable playing with her and she’s comfortable playing with me,” Kenniston said. “We know what’s going on with each other. She can get the ball to me and I can get it to her. If I can get her the ball, we’ll be fine.”
Sometimes, Spencer said, they work together a little too well – not that he’s complaining.
“They have a tendency to over-pass,” he said. “I’d like Jody to take the outside shot a little more, and if Andrea has the ball in the paint, I’d like her take the shot instead of passing it off. Sometimes they look to pass first, but as they proceed in their careers, that will help them.”
The rest of the Old Town team is no slouch, either. Spencer’s athletic group includes senior guard Kalina Cuarisma, sophomore center Justine Ferland, and junior guard Kristy Thurston.
“Kristy and Justine have both stepped it up this year,” Kenniston said. “We’ve had tremendous help from them.”
“Kalina’s the best shooter on the team, once we get her to keep shooting,” she added. “She gets the game up-tempo when we need it.”
Pardilla said the team’s success stems from a group effort to concentrate on every aspect of the game.
“We’ve been boxing out more, not giving up rebounds,” she said. “We’ve been trying to do the little things.”
Pardilla said she hopes to attend the University of Maine and walk on with the women’s basketball team. She said she spoke to coach Joanne Palombo-McAllie over the summer and that Palombo was encouraging of Pardilla’s plan.
Kenniston wants to concentrate on civil engineering in college. She’s been accepted at UMaine, but is waiting to hear from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., where she may have an opportunity to play basketball for the Engineers.
“Jody’s as good a point guard as there are in Maine,” Spencer said. “She’s got the kind of physical body where she doesn’t have to be in the weight room all the time.”
As for the rest of the regular season, Spencer said the team’s intensity should rise as they keep winning.
“What happens is, as you get better, every game you play is like a playoff game,” he said. “Every team gets super-pumped to play you when you go to their gyms, and we get pumped when they come here. It’s a good situation for us.”