On paper, Friday’s girls basketball clash between Dreher and Columbia seemed interesting enough. Defending state champion Dreher is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A and Columbia, the runner-up in 2A a year ago, stands eighth in the preseason rankings.
In reality it was no contest.
Dreher looked very much the part of a veteran, successful team while totally dominating the host Capitals on the way to an easy 63-28 win. The Blue Devils are 2-0 in the early going and are riding a 23-game winning streak. Columbia, the only team to defeat Dreher last season, appeared to be a team out of its depth.
The outcome was never in question. Dreher had a 10-0 lead 80 seconds into the game and carried a 23-3 advantage into the second quarter. It was 40-10 by halftime and Dreher’s lead rarely slipped below 30 points in the second half.
The inexperienced Capitals did little on offense except turn the ball over and heave up 3-pointers.
Dreher came out firing, hitting its first six shots from the field. Shaniqwa Hopkins got it started with two breakaway lay-ups off assists by junior star Kaydra Duckett. Jazmine Robinson then canned back-to-back 3-pointers.
Robinson scored all of her game-high 15 points in the first half. Duckett finished with just 11 points, but seemed more interested in other parts of the game. The all-state junior finished with nine assists, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks.
“Kaydra didn’t have a big night scoring, but she was our MVP tonight,” said Dreher coach Teresa Jones. “We’re a veteran team, so we expected to play well in every game. We still have things we have to work on, but we’re not in a situation where we’re feeling our way around.”
De’jah Canty backed Robinson and Duckett with 10 points while Hopkins and Danielle Pierce chipped in eight and seven points, respectively.
The Blue Devils were 15-for-21 from the field in the first half before cooling off after the break. Still, Dreher finished with a .537 field goal percentage for the game.
Columbia, on the other hand, was a chilly 11-for-45 from the field. Returning starter Alexis Foulks led the Capitals with 10 points.
Dreher is off to a fast start even though veteran center Makayla Johnson is recovering from knee surgery. Johnson is playing limited minutes off the bench as she continues rehabilitation. Freshman Jhileiya Dunlap is filling the inside gap well so far.
The other Blue Devil note of interest concerns Robinson, who debuted as a freshman along with Duckett and Johnson two seasons ago but is now considered to be a senior due to her accelerated academic work that will allow her to graduate a year early.