By Richard Lawhorn, Sports Writer
On March 9 another moment in Keenan sports history was made. The Lady Raiders basketball team brought home the 2A State Championship. This victory is big because the boys’ basketball team didn’t make it, but the girls finished the deal. This is the girls’ first championship since 2008.
“This most definitely is a moment I will not forget,” Coach Reggie McLain said.
McLain led the girls to another championship this year; he continues to prove himself as a coach. In his years as the girls’ head coach he has lead them to two state championships. McLain knows how to make a championship team and lead them to the Promised Land.
At the beginning of the season, things weren’t looking too good for the girls. They encountered the loss of one of their most talented players and one of their captains, Senior Daisha Eady, due to restrictions because of grades. Also they had to get used to the all the new players on the team, so they lost more games than they usually have.
After a while the Lady Raiders got their groove back, defeating the Ridgeview High School Blazers in their second meeting; the first was a loss by one point. As the season went forward, momentum built up more and more as they kept playing. With big wins coming, the girls could see their future bright and clear.
“I was nervous, focused, but just scared of losing” Sophomore Demyra Rudder said.
In the game leading up to the championship, the girls played Abbeville High School at the Bi-Lo Center. They won with ease and approached the championship game with anticipation. Rudder scored the first 4 points to jumpstart the championship game, but the Lady Raiders’ opponent, Bishop England High School, wasn’t to be taken lightly.
The championship game was almost the mirror image of the girls’ season. They encountered some ups and downs, but they still found a way to fight through the adversity. It was back-to-back scoring, but somehow the Lady Raiders still concealed the lead. Fourteen key points from Eady seemed to carry the load of Senior Kiera Robinson.
“I stole the ball to seal the deal and got fouled,” Eady said of her clutch plays.
The game came down to two clutch plays from Eady, a steal and some clutch free throws, to seal the girls’ fate as 2A Girls State Champions. The game was in Eady’s hands, and everyone knew she wouldn’t let them down. Then she knocked down both free throws to end it all. The 2A Girls State Champions were crowned. Senior Jada Reaves couldn’t believe this at all.
“[It] feels incredible to be a champ; it’s the best feeling you can ever feel,” Reaves said.