By defeating Abbeville 64-30, the Keenan Raiders advanced to the Class 2A girls state championship for the second time in three seasons.
Coach Reggie McLain said the big win is a good springboard for the Raiders heading into the title game.
“It’s great momentum that we gained here and the girls will, hopefully, carry that through next week,” he said.
The Raiders were led by seniors Daisha Eddy, who posted 18 points, and Keira Robinson, who notched 15.
“It’s my last year, it’s all or nothing and I’m going to get it this time,” Robinson said. “It’s great having Daisha back, because we didn’t have her at the beginning of the season, and having her back takes a lot of pressure off me and gives us more options.”
“They’re a great complement to each other,” McLain said. “Keira’s a driver and gets the ball around the court for us, and Daisha’s a shooter. The play very well off of each other and create a lot of opportunities for us.”
Eddy opened the game with a strong seven-point performance, scoring from 3-point range and driving to the hoop. Daishell Robinson and DeMyra Rudder also posted 3s in the first period, helping lift the Raiders to a 25-15 lead after eight minutes.
The Raiders’ offense lagged a bit in the second as they posted eight points, but the Panthers were frustrated by the Keenan defense and unable to regain any ground. They trailed by 14 at the half, and things got worse from there.
Keenan opened the second half in a zone defense, and held the Panthers scoreless for the first four minutes of the session. With 6-footers Leon Hill and Kayla Baker in the post, the Raiders took away Abbeville’s inside shot, effectively shutting down the Panther offense.
Keenan pushed its lead to 32 points with a 6 minute, 10-0 scoring run that stretched into the fourth quarter.
Sadasha Grant finally broke Abbeville’s silence with a 3-point bucket at 4:35 to go. Tiara Johnson banged in another 3-pointer at the buzzer to set the final score.
K: Perry 4, Hill 4, Daisha Eddy 18, Daishell Robinson 10, Rudder 7, Keira Robinson 15, Baker 4, Bell 2. A: Belcher 4, Robinson 3, Goodwin 7, Grant 8, Johnson 3, Carroll 5.