Girls Basketball: Raby’s quick start downs Chicago Academy
Updated: February 14, 2012 9:46PM
Raby junior guard Adrianna Eaton said that her team plays its best in the third quarter.
The Raiders certainly played well in that stanza Monday night, but their first quarter effort was even more important.
Raby jumped out to a 14-4 lead after the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 39-27 victory over Chicago Academy in the Class 2A Timothy Christian Sectional semifinals.
In a matchup of teams that were making their sectional debuts, Raby (17-8) was able to do a better job of overcoming the nerves.
“My kids are nervous,” Raby coach Fredrick Eaton said. “They haven’t been this far before. It’s all new to them.
“[I told them] just have fun. We want to take care of business but in order to get over the nervousness we’ve just got to learn to have fun.”
Eaton took that message to heart, coming up with five points and three steals as the Raiders sank 6 of 12 shots in the first quarter compared to Chicago’s 2-for-14 effort. Raby extended its lead to 18-6 on a basket by Keara Powell with 2:07 left in the second quarter. On a night in which both teams were offensively challenged, that lead seemed a lot larger than it actually was.
The Cougars (19-8) managed to cut the gap to 20-12 at halftime, but Raby responded by outscoring them 11-5 in the third quarter to take a commanding 31-17 lead.
“We’re not really a first or second quarter team,” said Eaton, who led the Raiders with 10 points and four steals. “In the third quarter, that’s when we get a spark and we just come around and play hard. We just locked down.”
Indeed, the Raiders held Chicago to 9-for-60 shooting. The Cougars couldn’t get closer than 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Ka’treelah Steward had six points for Raby, while Belinda Courts, Tresa Reynolds and Ashley Dorsey all added four points. Both of Courts’ baskets came in the fourth quarter. Jamilla Banks-Wall had 15 rebounds for the Raiders, who will play Latin, which upset Walther Lutheran 57-48, in Thursday’s sectional final.
“It feels good [to win a sectional game],” Eaton said. “I’d like to do it again. We struggled from the beginning of the season but as the season went on we joined together and everything has been going good since then.”
Soly Roman had 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Cougars, who were making the first sectional appearance by a girls sports team in school history. Jieve Morris added nine points for Chicago, but no other player had more than one basket.