Ravenscroft’s young girls’ basketball believed it had improved enough from a 17-point December loss to Providence Day to challenge the Charlotte school in the state title rematch.
The problem for the Ravens was Providence Day’s talented lineup improved, too. The Chargers defeated Ravenscroft 42-21 in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A final Saturday night at the Ravenscroft gym.
Second-seeded Ravenscroft (24-5) was riding an 18-game winning streak before falling to No. 1-seeded Providence Day (27-2).
“I’m very proud of my team that we made it this far,” said Ravenscroft’s Nandi Traywick, the only senior starter. “We fought hard for everything we earned this season. I couldn’t ask for better teammates.”
In December, Ravenscroft trailed Providence Day by only three points at halftime before the Chargers pulled away for a 46-29 victory. This time Providence Day was more dominant in the third. The Chargers scored 14 points and held the Ravens scoreless to turn a 20-12 halftime advantage into a 34-12 lead.
Providence Day’s Janelle Bailey, a 6-foot-3 junior, was too strong for the Ravens, posting a double-double and demonstrating stronger passing skills than most girls her size. She finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. She set up high in the key and could score from 15 feet, drive the lane or drop off passes to cutters.
Ravenscroft’s defense was strong enough to hold Providence Day to seven points in the second quarter, but the Ravens failed to take advantage of the opening with offensive production. Ravenscroft managed only three points in the second quarter.
Three to know
Janelle Bailey, Providence Day: The junior dominated offensively and defensively. Her presence in the middle of the 2-3 zone defense allowed the Chargers’ wing players to position wider and recover quickly to prevent outside shots despite good ball movement from Ravenscroft.
Madison Taylor, Ravenscroft: The sophomore guard led the Ravens with seven points. She was named to the all-state team.
Demi Washington, Ravenscroft: The freshman forward showed flashes of developing into a dominant player. She scored all three of Ravenscroft’s second-quarter points and finished the night with five.
Wait until next year
Ravenscroft should return four starter: Taylor and Washington and two juniors, Lynn Johnson and Erin Hughes.
They said it
“We were confident. The first game was almost even in the first half, but in the third quarter they executed and broke it open. They’re a good team. We knew we had to hit our shots and limit their opportunities. It was going to take our best effort to beat them.” – Ravenscroft coach Shon Hardy