Keenan Raiders rise again

Keenan locks up third straight trip to state’s Final Four

02/20/2013 12:16 AM

02/20/2013 12:17 AM

Keenan will be making another trip to the girls Class 2A semifinals.

The Raiders (15-6) advanced to their third consecutive semifinal by defeating Cheraw 61-49 at home on Tuesday.

The Raiders next will face Abbeville in the Upper State final at Greenville’s Bi-Lo Center on Saturday.

“Our seniors did a really great job tonight, and I hope they can keep that going as we continue,” coach Reggie McLain said.

The Raiders had seen similar leads disappear against the sharp-shooting Braves.

Keenan started to get into a rhythm late in the first quarter, with senior Daisha Eddy leading a four-minute rally that saw Keenan move from five points down to five ahead. But Cheraw’s Crystal Owens banged in a 3-pointer at the buzzer that kept it a one-possession game.

Keenan rebounded in the second period, led by strong play on the boards from Kierra Robinson. With 2:13 left in the half, two free throws from Eddy put the Raiders ahead by 10 points.

But Cheraw made short work of that deficit with consecutive 3-pointers — two from Owens and one from Alexis Pitts — and sent Alicia McIver to the line to take the lead.

But in the third quarter, the Raiders tasked Demyra Rudder with shutting down Owens and Cheraw’s 3-point shooting.

“She’s real good on defense. She’s feisty, and we knew she was going to move her feet and stick with her well,” McLain said. “We felt we had to get in the face of their two shooters and take them out of the game.”

In the fourth quarter, the Raiders put the game out of reach, going up 11 with four minutes to play.

The Braves made three field goals in the final four minutes.

Owens finished with 18 points, while Keenan’s Eddy led the game with 27 points and Robinson added 17.

K: Reeves 2, Perry 7, Hill 4, Daisha Eddy 27, Kierra Robinson 17, Rudder 4. C: Alexis Pitts 11, Danesha McCray 10, Crystal Owens 18, Turner 5, McIver 5.

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