Durham Academy girls fall to Ravens in TISAC title game
Durham Academy was so dominant for an eight-minute stretch that the Cavaliers held rattled Ravenscroft scoreless and shredded the Ravens’ defense while putting together a 16-0 run.
That was the good news. In fact, it was the best news of the evening for the Cavaliers. They cut a 22-point deficit to 6 during that amazing run, but eventually fell 57-43 to the Ravens in the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference Tournament girls’ championship game on Saturday.
DA struggled early, falling behind 20-5 in the first period and 32-13 at the half, tossing misguided 3-pointers and failing from the free throw line from start to finish.
The game was the fifth of an eventual six on the day.
Because of the week’s winter weather, the TISAC semifinals and finals were both played Saturday.
The DA boys’ team lost to Ravenscroft 59-49 in their semifinal. Later, 6-6 junior forward Alston Thompson of DA, who averages 15.2 points per game, was named conference co-player of the year.
The DA girls beat Cary Academy 49-41 in the semifinals to advance to the title game and sophomore guard Cha’Mia Rothwell said playing games at 1 and 4 p.m. took a toll.
“We came out slow” in the championship game, said Rothwell, who scored 16 points in the first game, two above her season average. She was held to eight points in the championship game, but had a pair of blocked shots mixed with tenacious defense.
“Obviously we’re upset about the loss, but I’m proud of how we fought. We came back from a big deficit, but we know we could have beat that team,” said Rothwell, who was named to the all-conference team along with teammate Liz Roberts, a sophomore guard.
“It’s bittersweet,” she said of her individual award. “I’d rather have the championship.”
The Cavaliers played like champions in the second half, outscoring Ravenscroft 30-25.
But that 32-13 first half deficit was a killer.
“We figured out in the second half we need to get in our sets,” Rothwell said. “Our 3’s weren’t falling like they normally do so we had to set something up and run an offense like we normally do.”
When they put together their 16-point run, forcing turnovers, stealing passes, and knocking Ravenscroft completely off game, emotions were running high.
“We were just thinking fight. We’re almost there,” Rothwell said.
“Six points, that’s only two 3’s. We can fight and pull this thing out. That’s all we were thinking,” said Rothwell, who scored six points, including a 3, during the 16-point surge.
Senior center Dana Williams was high scorer for DA, with 10. Senior forward Lily Ronco played scrappy defense, stealing the ball several times.
Naomi Lerner added nine for DA. With Ravenscroft up 6-0 in the first period, Lerner stripped the ball from Lynn Johnson as she attempted to go up and complete a steal and coast-to-coast layup. Seconds later Lerner hit a 3-pointer from the corner to get the Cavaliers on the board.
DA left 13 points at the free throw line, converting just 9 of 22 attempts (40 percent). Ravenscroft was 13 for 18 (72 percent).
NCISAA 3-A TISAC Tournament Championship at Durham Academy
Ravenscroft 57, Durham Academy 43
Ravenscroft School 20 12 12 13 — 57
Durham Academy 5 8 15 15 — 43
RAVENSCROFT SCHOOL — Lynn Johnson 5, Madison Taylor 12, Cailin Dorsey 9, Nandi Traywick 10, Erin Hughes 13, Claudia Beller 4, Alexis Hunter 4.
DURHAM ACADEMY — Naomi Lerner 9, Cha’Mia Rothwell 8, Liz Roberts 9, Dana Williams 10, Lily Ronco 2, Annie D’Amico 1, Julie D’Amico 2, Nicole Riepl 2.
Records — Raleigh Ravenscroft School 22-4; Durham Academy 22-6.
TISAC Tournament Semifinal at Durham Academy
Durham Academy 49, Cary Academy 41
Cary Academy 10 5 12 14 — 41
Durham Academy 16 3 19 11 — 49
CARY ACADEMY — Lauren Callihan: 4, Rebekah Banks 13, Szuln Lim: 10, Beyla Patel 3, Kelly Bright 10, Ellie Johnson 1.
DURHAM ACADEMY — Naomi Lerner 15, Cha’Mia Rothwell 16, Liz Roberts 6, Dana Williams 8, Lily Ronco 4.
Rebekah Banks (Cary Academy) MVP.
First team — Cha’Mia Rothwell, Lis Roberts (Durham Academy); Cailin Dorsey, Nandi Traywick, Madison Taylor (Ravenscroft); Amaya Williams (North Raleigh Christian). Honorable mention — Lauren Callihan (Cary Academy).
NCISAA 3-A TISAC Tournament Semifinal at Durham Academy
North Raleigh Christian 59, Durham Academy 49
N. RALEIGH CHRISTIAN — Jalen Jones 17, Roger Ray 15, Victory Gray 9, Nick Johnson 6, James Wilson 5, Drake Harris 4, Christian Vinson 3.
DURHAM ACADEMY — Alston Thompson 22, Caleb Vanderburg 10, Jorden Davis 6, Ryan Hester 5, David Oglesby 2, Khari Williams 2, Nash Carey-Ewend 2.
Records — North Raleigh Christian Academy 12-12; Durham Academy 18-9.
NOTE: Ravenscroft beat North Raleigh Christian 56-43 in the TISAC Tournament championship game later Saturday.