Top-ranked Redan ousts Lady Mustangs
March 1, 2014
By Paul Floeckher
Said Womack: “I thought they did a really good job defending Tianna. But on the same token, I thought that we were still able to get the ball in her hands and we were still able to get a lot of other looks at the basket — we just weren’t able to convert them. Had we been able to convert some of those, I think it could’ve been a different story.”
Meanwhile, Redan shot 48.9 percent (22-of-45) from the field. Destini McClary scored 14 points and Jamese Abney added 12, including perfect 8-for-8 shooting from the free throw line.
Germain also had two rebounds and two steals, Raymonville tallied four rebounds and three blocks and Leverett added four blocks and three steals. Hartfield and Alissa Epling each scored four points for the Lady Mustangs, who followed last year’s Sweet 16 appearance with the school’s deepest tournament run this year.
“There’s only one team that gets to go out a winner, and we were one of four left,” Womack said. “They’ve been a great group. They’ve definitely been the best basketball team that I’ve ever coached, and it’s been fun.”
After Redan’s 7-0 blitz to start the game, Germain converted a three-point play to get South Effingham on the scoreboard.
Raymonville’s 3-pointer from the left wing closed the gap to 8-6 before Redan rallied for a 14-8 lead behind six first-quarter points apiece from Elmore and McClary.
Free throw shooting was a bright spot for the Lady Mustangs, who connected on 12-of-14 attempts (85.7 percent) from the charity stripe. Two free throws by Raymonville pulled SEHS within 22-19, but Redan reeled off five straight points in the final minute of the first half for a 27-19 lead at the break.
The state semifinal was the final game for five SEHS seniors — Germain, Raymonville, Dekiah Butler, Lexy Wiley and Ashlyn Hurst. The seniors closed their high school careers with 55 wins over their final two seasons.
“When that group of seniors came in to South Effingham, we could barely win a ballgame,” Womack said. “And now, in four years’ turnaround, we’re playing in the Final Four. What they have been able to help our program accomplish is indescribable.”