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Ribault, Oak Hill Academy Win Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals at MSG

Ribault poses for a team photo after winning the girls championship at the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals (Photo: Andy Marlin, USA TODAY Sports)

Ribault poses for a team photo after winning the girls championship at the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals (Photo: Andy Marlin, USA TODAY Sports)


(3) Ribault 75, (1) Riverdale Baptist 49

The Ribault Lady Trojans (29-1) first trip to the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals ended on successful note. rolling past the Riverdale Baptist Lady Crusaders (36-4) 75-49 in the championship game at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Junior Rennia Davis poured in 17 of her game-high 23 points, including hitting 11 of 12 from the free thrown line, while senior Nola Carter added 15 points. Ribault received additional offense from junior Day’Neshia Banks who contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Praise Russell’s 11 points including three trifecta’s.

In the second quarter, Ribault went on an 8-0 run, taking a 17-9 lead and ended the half on an additional 10-2 run, increasing their advantage to 29-15. Carter dropped in six points in the period with Russell knocking down two jump shots from long range.

The Lady Trojans defense was stifling all game, holding Riverdale Baptist to 19 percent shooting from the field.

“That is exactly what we have been able to do throughout the course of the season,” said Ribault Head Coach Shelia Pennick. “Our kids were waiting for this opportunity and today they got that chance and I’m so happy and rewarding as a coach.”

“I know every time I start slow, we have role players that step up such as Banks, Carter, Rogers and Russell hit some really big shots and once I started hitting my shots it was going so fluently,” said Rennia Davis.


(2) Oak Hill Academy 62, (5) La Lumiere 60 – Overtime

Four out of the last eight years, the Oak Hill Academy Warriors (43-1) were runner-up in the championship game. They finally managed to end that streak as it took an overtime tip-in at the buzzer from senior Khadim Sy. giving the Warriors a dramatic 62-60 win over the fifth-seed La Lumiere Lakers (25-4) at Madison Square Garden.

Down 60-57 with 35.2 seconds remaining in the extra session, junior Lindell Wiggington (16 points) sliced and diced towards the basket laying the ball up off the glass while getting fouled in the process and converting the three-point play to tie the game up.

Oak Hill Academy led 28-17 at halftime and expanded the margin to 38-20 with 4:35 remaining left in the third quarter. However, the Lakers stormed back due to the tenacious play from junior Brian Bowen who led the team in scoring with 20 points. Bowen threw down a ferocious dunk and got fouled in the process with 21.5 seconds left cashing in on the three-point opportunity reducing the margin down to 46-36. Junior Isaiah Coleman-Lands (13 points) opened up the fourth draining a trey, making it 46-39. Coleman was not done from the outside, drilling another trifecta with under four minutes remaining.

La Lumiere kept on chipping away at the lead with a layup from freshman Tyger Campbell (12 points) making it a two point game. After a turnover by the Warriors on the ensuing inbound pass, Bowen drove the baseline for a layup, tying the game up at 50-50. Senior James Banks gave the Lakers the lead on a put back shot with 44.6 seconds remaining. After a one and one free throw miss by Coleman with 20.2 seconds left, senior Braxton Key who led Oak Hill Academy with 20 points was fouled with 6.6. seconds and calmly sank both free throws sending the game into overtime.

“I’m quite happy obviously, third time in the Garden and fifth time is a charm and I thought we gave one away a long time ago in DC but we’re just happy to win,” said Oak Hill Academy Head Coach Steve Smith. “It’s not how I drew it up the last 45 seconds from a coaching stand point but they turned the ball over and gave us a chance and it’s a championship and that’s all matters.”

“Braxton was so big in the fourth quarter and when we were getting behind we went to him by trying to post him, get him in the lane and isolate him. He made plays and came up huge. I said to him(Lindell Wigginton) to be aggressive and take it to the basket and make the referee call the foul plus I knew he could finish because he is big and strong.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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