Girls Basketball: Adrianna Eaton’s heroics lead Raby in upset win vs Latin
Updated: February 16, 2012 10:31PM
When Raby’s Adrianna Eaton missed the first of two free throws with :04.5 left in regulation and her team down by two in Thursday’s Class 2A Timothy Christian Sectional final, she listened to what her father had to say.
Raby coach Fred Eaton told her to deliberately miss her second attempt to the left.
Adrianna Eaton not only did that, she corralled the rebound and sank a 10-foot jumper at the buzzer to send the game into overtime tied at 55-55. Then she made 5 of 8 free throws in overtime to lead Raby to a 68-63 upset of Latin.
It is the first sectional championship in any sport for Raby (18-8), which advances to Monday’s Concordia University Supersectional.
“I did tell her to miss it and miss it hard and it missed hard,” Fred Eaton said. “I was just glad she was able to get that rebound.”
Fred Eaton didn’t think his daughter was going to make the ensuing shot, but Adrianna had no doubt.
“I felt it going in,” Adrianna Eaton said. “I was thinking that I wasn’t going to let my team down, so I had to do what I had to do to make us win.”
Few people thought Raby would be able to pull the upset, but the Raiders never stopped believing through a hard-fought contest that featured 12 lead changes and nine ties from late in the third quarter onward.
“We expected it but no one expected it from us because everyone thinks of us as the underdog,” Adrianna Eaton said. “Our [motto] is ‘One team, one family,’ and we stick together.”
Adrianna Eaton finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, including a pair of free throws that gave the Raiders a 66-60 lead with 12.3 seconds left in overtime, but she had plenty of help.
Senior Ashley Dorsey came off the bench and scored 16 of her 20 points after halftime, mostly on driving layups. Dorsey made her final six shots, including a layup seven seconds into overtime, before fouling out.
Junior center Jamilla Banks-Wall frustrated Latin throughout, contributing eight points and a career-high 25 rebounds. She was the main reason why the Raiders outrebounded the taller Romans 54-31, including 24-10 in the second half.
“My coach taught me my fundamentals and I just love being the underdog [because] it makes me work harder,” Banks-Wall said. “He just told me to stick to my fundamentals and don’t go after what I can’t get because I get in foul trouble, so I just played smart and tried not to let my team down.”
Katreelah Edwards added seven points, including a pair of foul shots with 1:55 left in overtime to put Raby ahead to stay at 60-59.
Nikki Dizon, Latin’s all-time leading scorer, poured in a game-high 26 points to go with nine rebounds and two assists. The senior guard scored six of her team’s eight points in the overtime, all at the foul line, where she was 16-for-23. But Dizon also struggled from the field against Raby’s tight man-to-man defense, making only 4 of 18 shots.
Sophomore Lizzie Marks added 19 points and junior Nicole Heckman added 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and three blocks for Latin (22-8), which was attempting to win its first sectional crown.
Instead, it is Raby that gets to enjoy making history.
“It is amazing to us,” Banks-Wall said. “It’s the first time in school history. It’s surreal to me right now.
“We play hard, play together. We knew we were the underdog. We’re thirsty for more.”
“These kids have been fighting,” Fred Eaton said. “We’ve been through a lot of adversity and just fought through it. And now they’re listening. They’re listening.”