February 27, 2018
By: Erica Rose
Both the Freedom and Nazareth girls’ basketball teams knew what it felt like to lose to their opponent. For the #2 seeded Patriots it was Allen who had the regular season edge. As for the 4th seeded Blue Eagles, it was Easton, who entered the District XI 6A tournament as the favorite. That was not the case last night however.
In the first game of the double header Freedom used a 36-3 run to lead 48-18 after three quarters. But the offense was not the only major factor. The defense played a big part in the game as well. The Patriots would outrebound the Canaries 40-26 and turnovers played an integral part. Senior Kyra Jefferson fueled her team with 18 points and 5 steals. She is quite the player. Her knowledge for the game combined with her physicality makes her fun to watch. Last night she had some unexpected help as well, as junior guard Rachel Sanchez sparked Freedom off the bench with 12 points of her own.
Allen struggled mightily and in large part to Freedom’s defense. The girls knew whom to shut down and they did so in every aspect. Senior Kion Andrews entered the night needing just 6 points to reach a career 1,000. Andrews would eventually get it with 1:47 on the clock, but boy did she have to work for it. Although it did not come with the outcome she had hoped, that is quite an achievement.
The Patriots will go up against Nazareth in the District XI Championship at 6pm on Thursday at Northampton. It is the Patriots best season in a dozen years, and their first appearance since winning the title in 2006. As for the Blue Eagles, they will be playing in their fourth straight championship game.
The main component in the semi-final was shutting down the EPC MVP Leanna Deegan. The Blue Eagles held Deegan to 13 points and 3 rebounds. They also capitalized on free throws BIG TIME. Easton decided to start following early in the 4th quarter and Nazareth made them pay, knocking down 24 of 26 from the charity stripe on the night. The Red Rovers would never lead again after the second quarter but kept it close through the third. The fourth is when the Blue Eagles would do damage cruising to the 50-32 victory.
Both teams are very talented and met once in the regular season. The patriots took that meeting 55-44.