Keenan used a second-half surge to end the Class 2A state championship reign of the Bishop England girls basketball team on Saturday at Colonial Life Arena.
The Raiders trailed 22-17 at the intermission, but righted the ship with a 31-19 run in the second half to secure a 46-41 triumph and the program’s second state title under coach Reggie McLain. Keenan finally got it together offensively after shooting 17 per cent (4-for-24) in the first half with 11 turnovers. The Raiders improved a bit from the floor in the second half (7-for-20) and won it at the free-throw line – cashing in 22 of 32 chances in the game, 16-for-24 in the second half and putting it away with a 13-for-17 effort with the pressure on in the fourth quarter.
Senior scoring mainstays Keira Robinson and Daisha Eddy triggered the Raider second-half revival. The duo combined for just three points on 0-for-10 shooting in the first half. Robinson finished with a game high 17 points, and went 6-for-8 at the line in the fourth quarter. Her two free throws with 7.1 seconds to go clinched the verdict. Eddy, who did not become eligible until Jan. 29, scored all 14 of her points in the second half.
Robinson and Eddy both started on the 2011 Keenan team that lost to Timberland in the 2A finale.
Never miss a local story.
But while the veterans carried the offensive load, there were other key contributors. Sophomore Jada Reeves finished with six points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Leon Hill scored three points, grabbed a game high 13 rebounds and rejected four BE shots.
Keenan trailed the defending champs 34-31 early in the fourth quarter before making its move behind Robinson and Eddy. Robinson followed her own miss to cut the Bishops lead to 34-33 with 5:50 to go, and hit two free throws 15 seconds later following a steal to put the Raiders ahead – for good as it turned out. Eddy helped stretch the Keenan lead to 40-34 with 2:11 remaining.
Robinson took it from there, going 6-for-8 at the line in the final 1:18.
Keenan finished with a 17-6 record, ending the season with a 10-game winning streak and a 15-1 showing after the Christmas break.
Bishop England closed at 23-4. Michele Boykin led the Bishops with 15 points, but suffered an injury with 2:11 left to play and never returned.
McLain guided Keenan to its first state championship in 2007, his second season at the Raider helm.