When his daughter was a freshman, HHS Lady Tigers coach Brent Kell wondered if she would make it through four years of basketball.
“She was giving me a little bit of an attitude,” Kell recalled of his daughter, Haylee. “I’d put her on the line to run and she’d straighten up for awhile, then she would be back there again.
“But she figured it out. I told her, ‘I’m dad at home, but I’m coach on the floor.'”
Coach and daughter made it. Together.
Haylee Kell and fellow senior Elizabeth Hayes bid farewell to Houston High School on Monday night. As they were pulled off the court in the final moments of a 51-41 victory against Laquey, they shared an emotional embrace.
The duo are both starters for the Lady Tigers, who improved to 9-14. But Brent Kell said their impact goes beyond the basketball floor.
“Both of them will be successful in whatever they decide to do. I know their work ethic and train of thought,” he said. “They will make a difference in the world. They’re just that type of girls.”
It was an emotional night for the coach, too. Hayes is his cousin and Haylee is the second daughter Brent Kell has been fortunate to coach and accompany on Senior Night.
“To coach your own kid is not always easy,” he said. “She made it pretty easy on me.”
Freshman Kylee Elmore led three players in double figures with 19 points. Alexa Ichord scored 14 and Amber Sillyman added 10.
The Lady Tigers were clinging to a 35-34 lead early in the fourth quarter when Kenzie Scheets drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing. The shot sparked a 15-2 run — including triples by Sillyman and Elmore — that put Houston ahead 50-36 with 1 minute, 20 seconds remaining.
Scheets’ 3-pointer was her lone basket of the game.
“It was probably the play of the game,” Brent Kell said. “Then several followed with big shots that extended it.”
Sillyman made three of the Lady Tigers’ six 3-pointers. Elmore had two.
On Thursday, Elmore scored 14 points and Ichord had 13 in a 49-40 home loss to Ava.
Houston never recovered after falling behind 17-8 in the first quarter.
The Lady Tigers finished the season 2-5 in South Central Association play.
LAQUEY (41) — Kylee Garcia 3. McKayla McCart 6. Brittni Click 8. Danielle Graves 9. Britnie Miller 15. FG 12. FT 14-19. F 13. (3-pointers: Click 2, Garcia. Fouled out: Graves).
HOUSTON (51) — Alexa Ichord 14. Kylee Elmore 19. Kenzie Scheets 3. Amber Sillyman 10. Haylee Kell 3. Sydney Cremer 2. FG 21. FT 2-8. F 13. (3-pointers: Sillyman 3, Elmore 2, Kell. Fouled out: none).
AVA (49) — Bailey Lee 2. Payton Lakey 16. Abbre Lansdown 5. Bethany Horn 8. Erica Croney 4. Jorie Garrett 14. FG 14. FT 18-24. F 16. (3-pointers: Garrett 2, Lansdown. Fouled out: none).
HOUSTON (40) — Alexa Ichord 13. Kylee Elmore 14. Kenzie Scheets 2. Amber Sillyman 7. Haylee Kell 1. Elizabeth Hayes 3. FG 15. FT 7-10. F 22. (3-pointers: Elmore 2, Sillyman. Fouled out: Hayes).