On Friday at Keenan, Dutch Fork’s girls advanced to the finals of the Capital City Classic, defeating Blythewood 53-34.
The Bengals had the speed to run with the Silver Foxes in transition, but could not overcome Alaina Coates in the post and could not find an outside shot.
“It’s hard to match up with Alaina. She’s going to get hers regardless, so we wanted to contain the other players and the bench and hold them below their average,” Bengals coach Steve Inabinet said.
Coates posted 12 of her game-leading 23 points in the first half.
With the Silver Foxes way out in front early, the Bengals looked to disrupt Dutch Fork’s offense with its man-defense late in the half. Blythewood was successful at holding the Silver Foxes scoreless for the last two minutes of the period, still Dutch Fork held a 24-8 lead at the half.
While Dutch Fork coach Faye Norris said her team came out flat in the second half, the Bengals were hot from the start.
The Bengals posted 24 points off 3-point buckets in the half.
But midway through the period, the Silver Foxes recharged and held Blythewood scoreless for nearly four minutes.
“We didn’t keep that zing on defense,” Norris said. “We had gone away from what we discussed, and when we went back to it, we started build our lead back up again.”
Aaliyah Keels led the Bengals with 18 points, all off 3s.