Prolific Plum playmaker Kennedie Montue growing her game
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 | 4:53 PM
Kennedie Montue has not slowed down in the new year.
In three games in 2020, the Plum junior forward scored an average of 25.7 points to help the Mustangs to victories over Armstrong, West Allegheny and Hampton.
Plum finds itself 6-4 overall and 3-1 in Section 2-5A, and Montue said she’s on a mission to make sure the Mustangs don’t slow down in their quest for the WPIAL playoffs.
“My gameplan going into every game is to be the best player I can be, not only for myself but also for my teammates,” said Montue, who scored 26 Monday in a 47-36 victory over Hampton that saw Plum break open a close game at halftime with a 16-6 advantage in the third quarter.
“It’s about getting everyone involved. That’s the mentality of our whole team. It takes everyone for us to be successful. I have scored points in each game, but everyone is contributing, and it has to continue if we’re going to win and get to where we want to be. It has to be as a team.”
Montue leads the Alle-Kiski Valley in scoring at 23.4 points per game.
She scored a season-high 36 points in a loss to Allderdice (9-1) in December, and she owns seven games with more than 20 points.
With her ability to light up the scoreboard, opposing defenses are making Montue a focal point, and she understands and appreciates that.
“If I get the ball wherever I can on the court, I am looking to score, but I know if there is someone open for a better shot, I am also looking to get them the ball,” she said.
Plum coach Steve Elsier said he appreciates Montue’s versatility on offense.
“Part of her development as a player is that she can score both inside and outside,” he said. “We saw that a lot in the summer league where her game really evolved. She is able to adjust well based on what defenses we’re seeing. We just want to put all of our players in a position to be successful.”
Montue said as much as she is contributing on offense, it’s at the other end of the court where she has seen the biggest jump in her game, from cleaning the glass to preventing shots and forcing turnovers.
“I used to be really lazy on defense. I’m not going to lie,” said Montue, who is averaging 10 rebounds. “But I know what kind of game I can have if I play both ends of the floor with the same effort and intensity. Good defense leads to good offense.”
Montue came into this season after a sophomore year where she led the area in scoring at 18.4 points per game and averaged nearly 8.0 rebounds a contest. She led the Mustangs to the WPIAL postseason and earned all-section and Valley News Dispatch first-team honors.
Her strong play continued in her AAU season with the Western PA Bruins, where she helped the squad fare well in several tournaments and produce more than 30 victories.
“All of my coaches, from AAU to my coaches (at Plum) push me so hard, and I appreciate that,” she said. “They motivate me every game. If I’m not shooting well, they lift me up and encourage me to come back and make the next shot.”
Montue continues to earn attention from college coaches at all levels. She owns Division I offers from Marshall, Oakland and Mount St. Mary’s, while Robert Morris and several schools in the Ivy League have shown interest. Criminology or personal training are two fields of study she is hoping to pursue.
In the moment, however, Montue and the rest of the Plum players are preparing to put their 3-1 section record on the line Friday against Kiski Area (5-7, 0-4) before taking on rival and defending section champion Gateway (8-3, 4-1) on Monday.
“The past couple of years, we’ve had rough patches, and we made it to playoffs but as the last team from the section,” Montue said. “This year, we want to finish as one of the top teams so we can get a better playoff seed and be in good position to win a first-round game. But we know there is a long way to go and some tough games ahead.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .