CKRLVTRPKER DRFN Genleg repeat by 6t. BAVLL
Thanks to a strong regular VeaVRn tKe 6t. BaVLl AFaGemy girls basketball team was awarded the top seed in the DLVtrLFt 2ne ClaVV AA playRffV. HRwever tKe 3antKerV still felt like work needed to be done before they were going to acknowledge any accolades.
Taking down the defendLng GLVtrLFt FKaPp CKrLVtRpKer DRFN waV tKe firVt Vtep, but the Pioneers did not plan tR wLllLngly KanG Rver tKe tLtle. If tKe fRXrtK VeeG waV relLnTXLVKLng tKeLr tLtle, Lt was going to go down kicking and screaming.
“7KLV LV a new ventXre fRr XV,” 3antKerV FRaFK 7erry 0anFLnL VaLG. “7KLV LV new teams we are facing and the long layoff we had hurt us in tKe firVt Kalf. 2nFe we gRt our legs we showed what we were capable of.”
It GLG nRt taNe lRng fRr tKe 3antKerV tR prRve Lt waV tKeLr championship to win or lose tKLV VeaVRn — tKeLr firVt aV a ClaVV AA FlXb — anG 6t. Basil’s fast start led to a 50-14 VePLfinal wLn at :LVVaKLFNon Tuesday night.
An aggreVVLve GefenVe set the stage for fast break points and a 12-1 run by the Panthers midway through tKe firVt Kalf PaGe Lt an Xphill climb for the Pioneers in the second half. At the break Lt waV 6t. BaVLl 21, .ereeFe 6eXren 6.
“Kereece realized she had tR taNe FKarge RffenVLvely,” 3LRneerV FRaFK 7LP (KVt VaLG. “I’P KRpLng VKe brRaGens her repertoire in the offseason and does some more VFRrLng Rn tKe perLPeter. It is really hard to be a body banger the whole game and not get totally exhausted.”
The Pioneers junior scored all six of her teams points Ln tKe firVt Kalf anG finLVKeG with a team-high 10 points and eight rebounds. The remainder of the team was 1-fRr-14 VKRRtLng. 0attaVyn 6KLVler anG LaXren AnGerson each had a pair of points.
“:e praFtLFeG tryLng tR get the ball into the post to Lauren anG I,” 6eXren VaLG. “BeLng a jXnLRr FaptaLn I tKLnN I aP gRLng LntR Py VenLRr NnRwLng wKat tR expeFt. I am going to work hard and taNe wKat I learneG tKLV year into my senior year.”
In LtV firVt year Ln ClaVV AA — after spending last year Ln ClaVV AAA — 6t. BaVLl faFeV 1R 2 DelFR CKrLVtLan Ln tKe GLVtrLFt final 5 p.P. 6atXrGay at 9LllanRva’V 3avLlLRn. DelFR GefeateG 1R. 3 1ew HRpe-6RlebXry 45-30 Ln 7XeVGay’V earlLer VePLfinal at :LVVaKLFNRn. 2nly tKe GLVtrLFt FKaPpLRn TXalLfieV fRr tKe 3IAA 7RXrnaPent.
BeFaXVe Rf tKe KLgK level of competition they faced throughout the regular seaVRn, tKe 3antKerV feel reaGy.
“:e are very FRnfiGent only because of the league (CatKRlLF AFaGePLeV) we play Ln,” 0anFLnL VaLG. “7Ke teams in our league make you playoff ready.”
The Pioneers’ better days tKLV VeaVRn Kave FRPe wKen VenLRr 6Kea 1eal waV able tR breaN tKe preVV anG finG 6eXren LnVLGe fRr VFRrLng. BXt NnRwLng KRw PXFK tKe Pioneers relied on their only VenLRr, tKe 3antKerV PaGe Lt a priority to slow her down.
“:e Nnew tKat 15 (1eal) waV a gRRG player,” 0anFLnL VaLG. “2Xr GefenVe gave tKeP a lRt Rf fitV anG tKat’V wKat I waV PRVt prRXG Rf tonight.”
“2ne tKLng we GepenGeG Rn all year waV fRr 6Kea to dribble through all of tKe preVVXre,” (KVt VaLG. “AgaLnVt tKLV level Rf Gefense we were unable to do that and many times she dribbled into a triple trap.”
It waV 23 teaP tXrnRverV that allowed the Panthers (15-7) tR KRlG a large aGvantage in attempts. The PantKerV VKRt 19-fRr-51, wKLle the Pioneers (14-10) only tRRN 21 VKRtV, lanGLng fRXr. The Panthers were led by .elly 0anFLnL, wKR FaPe off the bench to score 12 points. The Panthers had 10 GLfferent gLrlV regLVter pRLntV, wLtK Veven NnRFNLng GRwn a three-pointer.
“2Xr LnexperLenFe jXVt really VKRweG,” (KVt VaLG. “:e Kave Rne VenLRr anG I aP excited about what we can do next year.”
Christopher Dock’s Lauren Anderson collides with St Basil’s Molly Greenberg as they battle for a ball during Tuesday’s District One Class AA playoff action.