COLLEGE PARK — Kent Island prided itself on its defense. It’s what carried them all year. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, it ran into a two-headed monster Saturday.
Lackey built a 15-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back, defeating Kent Island, 53-33, in the Class 2A state championship game at the University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center. Both teams were making their first trips to the title game.
The Chargers (24-3) were led by Nadeya Regala’s 25 points and Kennedy Hall’s 23. The pair, both sophomores, combined for all but five of the Charger’s points. Allison Corbin led Kent Island (25-1) with 14 points.
The fast start by Lackey — and the slow start defensively by the Bucs — were both uncharacteristic. After the first quarter, the Chargers led a reeling Kent Island, 19-6.
“For the entire season, if you look at our statistics, the first quarter is usually our worst [offensive] quarter,” Lackey coach Jo’nel Barnes said. “Coming into the playoffs, we all made it our goal to come out strong. We did that today.”
The Chargers played a classic inside-out game. When the Bucs would play zone, Lackey found Regala open for 3-pointers. For the day, she finished 5-for-11 from outside the arc. When Kent Island switched to a man-to-man defense, it was Hall’s turn to dominate in the paint. Even when she was fouled, she made the most of her opportunities, going 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.
For the Bucs, who rely on 3-pointers to set up their offense, the shots weren’t falling. Kent Island made only 2 of 17 3-pointers.
“We were getting some good shots, but they just weren’t going in,” Kent Island coach Dave Plumer said. “We missed some layups. When you get in the hole you’re always fighting from behind. We obviously didn’t play our best game.”
Plumer said the combination of Regala and Hall proved lethal for the Bucs.
“The other team had two players who each scored over 20 points tonight, and that was tough for us to defend,” he said. “They hit a bunch of 3s in a row. When you guard them on the outside, then they get the ball inside. It was just a matchup issue for us.”
The Bucs might not have been able to finish off their undefeated season, but Plumer said he was proud of his team.
“I’m still proud of these girls,” he said. “We’ve had a great season.”
L — Regala 25, Harley 2, Lee 3, Hall 23. Totals: 26 7-8 53
KI — La. Dauses 4, Haneswortg 2, Cavanaugh 2, Corbin 14, Riska 9, Burnside 2. Totals: 15 5-8 33
Half: 30-17, L