Girls Basketball: Hillcrest cruises past Providence
Updated: February 16, 2012 9:37PM
With the lineup introduced, Hillcrest’s starting five stood at attention in a line at halfcourt.
While host Providence was introduced, the Hawks were silent, their arms behind their backs.
This was a team primed for the jump ball.
“It’s us being ready for the game and coming out pumped,” Hillcrest’s Shannise Heady said. “It’s that last focus before tip.”
Limited by first-half foul trouble, Heady came back and sparked a third quarter run that helped Hillcrest pull away for good in a 79-49 win over Providence at Thursday’s Class 3A regional final. The title was the program’s fifth in a row.
Jasmine Sanders (17 points), Heady (13), Mariam Awoniyi (13) and Jahmia Phillips (10 points, 13 rebounds) led Hillcrest (24-3). Cassidy Glenn poured in 24 points for Providence (16-16).
Holding a 36-22 halftime advantage, Heady was at the head of an 11-0 run to open the third. After an Awoniyi score inside, Heady intercepted a pass and went in for the layup, hitting a free throw for a three-point play.
The senior added three more points as part of the run and assisted on another Awoniyi basket.
“It was really tough sitting in the first half,” Heady said. “I was careful when I got back in. (We said) ‘let’s finish it.’ I wanted to finish the game.”
Hillcrest’s extended 17-3 run in the third delivered the knockout punch.
Providence finished 9 of 30 from three-point range overall. The Celtics lose Glenn and Kayla O’Dowd to graduation but will return four starters next season and several key players off the bench.
“We’re typically more balanced scoring, and we didn’t get that tonight,” Providence coach Eileen Copenhaver said. “Cassidy had 24, and we were waiting for that other kid whoever it was. We have a great nucleus coming back who logged a lot of minutes the last couple years, but I was really proud of our seniors this year.”
Hillcrest hosts its own 3A sectional starting Tuesday and will play the Oak Forest vs. Rich South winner.