With her team trailing by eight points midway through the fourth quarter of its CCL matchup Jan. 5 at Watterson, Hartley High School junior girls basketball player Kennedy Taylor kicked things into high gear.

With her team trailing by eight points midway through the fourth quarter of its CCL matchup Jan. 5 at Watterson, Hartley High School junior girls basketball player Kennedy Taylor kicked things into high gear.

She drove for layups on back-to-back possessions, passed to sophomore Chiamaka Nwokolo for another easy basket and then turned a steal into a score -- all within a span of one minute, 14 seconds -- as the Hawks trimmed the deficit to one.

Taylor's father, Sean Taylor, pointed to Kennedy's older brother, Camden Taylor, and his one-on-one matchups over the years with his sister as being among the chief reasons she was able to put on such a display at a crucial time.

Basketball is a family affair for the Taylors, considering Camden played for Eastmoor Academy before graduating in 2015 and Sean is in his sixth season as Northland's boys coach.

"She's always loved the game, and to see her perform is a joy to me," Sean said. "She's a coach's daughter. We talk about the game and watch games on TV. She's pretty good. She doesn't know how good she can be yet."

Although Hartley lost to Watterson 39-37 that night in its CCL opener, much of the season thus far has been successful for Kennedy and her team.

The Hawks are 8-3 overall after going 13-12 each of the past two seasons.

Kennedy has been Hartley's point guard since her freshman season when her team won a district championship. The Hawks were Division II district runners-up a year ago.

Sean and his daughter attend each other's games when possible, which means both have watched numerous wins the last few years.

Sean formerly coached at Eastmoor before taking over at Northland for the 2011-12 season.

The Vikings reached a Division I state semifinal in his second season and added regional runner-up finishes in both 2014 and 2015 before losing in a district semifinal last season.

Northland beat Linden-McKinley 69-51 on Jan. 6 and Upper Arlington 47-44 on Jan. 7 in "The Challenge" at Africentric to improve to 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the City League-North Division before playing Columbus International on Jan. 10.

The Vikings lost to UA 42-37 in a district semifinal last season.

"We're really close, especially through basketball," Kennedy said. "I go to all his games; he goes to all of mine. Sometimes he looks at me to let him know what's going on, so I like that.

"I was in seventh grade (in 2013) when Northland made the (state tournament), and I went to mostly all of (Northland's games). That was a tough one, but I love supporting him. (Northland losing) hurts as much as (Hartley) losing."

Sean was a point guard at Dayton Meadowdale and has been married to Shannon Taylor for 19 years. Shannon also attended a Catholic school, graduating from Dayton Chaminade Julienne.

Kennedy, who was first-team all-league last season, averages 11.1 points.

"Kennedy's definitely benefited from having a dad who's a coach," Hartley coach Donald Dennis said. "She's unselfish and likes to get her teammates involved."

Although Sean coached his son growing up, he never coached his daughter in an official way. However, the talks they've had over the years have included ways she can improve as a player.

"I feel like I've gotten more into a leader role and make sure everybody feels good with their position and shooting," Kennedy said. "I've learned to shoot when I need to shoot and pass when I need to pass.

"I definitely like having a coach as my dad. I just have to want the criticism and he'll let me know what's going on. I've definitely learned how to know my personality, especially when to shoot at the end of quarters. Especially with him being a point guard when he was young, it's definitely crossed over to me. We play similar. He's taught me a lot."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek