At Keenan on Saturday, the Dutch Fork girls won the Capital City Classic tournament, defeating Spring Valley 49-38.
“Coming into this tournament, we had a lot of confidence about ourselves,” said Silver Fox senior Alaina Coates, who led the game with 22 points.
Teammate Morgan Williams had 14, and Coates said having her to play off of strengthens her post game. “She knows how to handle her own,” she said.
With Ky’Aire Daniels pitching in nine assists, and Sydney Shull’s five, the Silver Foxes carved their way through
Spring Valley’s zone, and led by as many as 11 points.
But with a run from Latisha Smith, Spring Valley established some momentum in the second half, and narrowed the gap to five points.
The Vikings would get no closer.
With just over a minute to go, the Vikings lost some of their momentum when a foul call did not go their way.
“This was a winnable game,” coach Anne Long said. But, “when it counted the most, we didn’t play to win,” she said, noting five last-minute turnovers.
Still, the young Vikings leave with confidence after their ability to hang with the undefeated Silver Foxes.
“This team has a chance to do some things. They really have a chance to push for some things,” Long said.
Vikings Smith, Cierra Carter and Akia Dunlap each notched 10 points.
With less than three minutes to go and the game tied at 62, Cavalier Quiron Cooke stroked a 3 that put RNE out front, and Keenan matched that on the other end.
Cooke hit another three-pointer with 55.5 seconds remaining.
With 29 seconds to go, Marcus Stroman got a steal at halfcourt and was fouled on his way to the lane, but missed a potential game-tying free throw.
The two strong shooting teams had battled through the first half, with Keenan leading most of the way.
But Richland Northeast was elevated by scoring from Cooke and Kendall Benjamin, and took the lead for the first
time with 2 minutes to go.
The Cavaliers held a 2-point advantage at the break.
Cooke led the game with 32 points, including five 3-pointers. Keenan’s Eric Hopkins posted 22 points, with four three-point shots.