City guard LaShay Taft had one word for the fourth quarter of last night's game against No. 3 Seton Keough: scary.
Seton Keough took a two-point lead into the quarter and boosted it to seven with about six minutes to go, but Taft and fellow guard Breaira Barksdale brought the No. 6 Knights right back.
The duo combined for 13 points during a 15-1 fourth-quarter run that sparked the Knights to a 53-49 victory at Western's third annual Breezy Bishop Showcase at Poly.
"This is one of the biggest wins for our team at City," Barksdale said, "because it gives us more respect than last year and it gave us confidence that we're going to go to states."
A three-pointer by Barksdale started the run, during which she scored eight of her 18 points. Taft scored five of her 21 in the run. Victoria Mitchell capped the sequence with a follow shot to give the Knights a 48-39 lead with 3:46 to go.
The Gators (4-2) rallied to 52-49 on Katelyn Fischer's three-pointer with 10 seconds left, but Barksdale sealed the win with a free throw with 6.7 seconds to go.
"You've really got to have it in that fourth quarter because that fourth quarter is scary," Taft said, "but we did better than we did [in Friday night's close win over No. 7 Archbishop Spalding]. We weren't as sluggish."
The Knights also got terrific play inside from five unheralded frontcourt players. Mitchell, Akilah Sewell, Dominique Dawson, Kayla Dillard and Jumanah Giles took turns putting pressure on the Gators' 6-foot-4 All-Metro center Asya Bussie, limiting her to 11 points and just three offensive rebounds.
The Knights (3-0) also did a good job on the offensive boards, getting a lot of second looks that often go the Gators' way.
"I thought the difference in the game was their offensive boards and our lack of offensive boards," Seton Keough coach Jackie Boswell said. "In the first half, I think our half-court defense gave up maybe two baskets on first shots that I think [Taft] hit, and the rest were put-backs and free throws."
No. 1 St. Frances 54, No. 4 Western 42:: The Panthers (6-0) made their break late in the second quarter with a 12-point run for a 27-18 lead that the Doves never recovered from. Forward Briana Hutchen had 17 points and 15 rebounds, and guard Tasia Bristow led all scorers with 19 in the Showcase game at Poly.
The Doves (1-2) pulled to 44-38 with 3:32 to go on a seven-point run capped by Iesha Bell's basket, but Bristow hit a short jump shot and Hutchen converted a steal to break the momentum.
"We came in saying we had to play hard, and this is a good win for our program," Hutchen said. "We knew we had to realize that we can beat somebody who plays like us with speed and not as much size, so it was going to be a harder matchup than usual."
No. 7 Archbishop Spalding 67, Poly 32: : Jordan Clinton scored 17 and Janay Brinkley added 16 as the Cavaliers (5-3) rolled past the Engineers (2-2) in the Showcase at Poly.
Fallston 36, Milford Mill 26: : Jess Harlee scored eight of her 14 points during a 12-2 run that gave the Cougars a 30-22 lead with five minutes to go. Harlee also had 18 rebounds, five steals and three blocks. Devonne Richardson led the Millers with 16 points in the Showcase game at Western.