St. Michael the Archangel had played defending Class 4A champion Warren Easton in the Nokia Sugar Bowl Tournament. It was that six-point loss that let the Warriors know they could win a rematch, said coach Tammy McClure.
Guard Tyler Morrison scored 16 points, leading three players in double figures, as St. Michael knocked off Easton 53-48 on in a Class 4A quarterfinal Thursday at Mount Carmel Academy.
“We just believed,” McClure said. “That was the key. When they beat us in the Nokia Sugar Bowl, we got into foul trouble. We stayed away from that this time. This is huge.”
Guard Essa Badon scored 11 for St. Michael, and power forward Jordan Schexnayder had 10. The win was the 13th in a row for the Warriors (29-8), who went 10-0 in District 6-4A.
Point guard Kichelle Figueroa scored 21 points to lead Easton (24-12), and center Kianna Anderson had 12. However, both picked up three fouls in the first half, and that figured mightily in the game.
“We picked up some fouls, and that’s how it goes in games sometimes,” Eagles coach Darius Mimms said. “We’ve been young all season.”
After trailing 40-38 at the end of the third quarter, the Eagles edged ahead 44-42 on a Figueroa’s steal and coast-to-coast drive. However, Schexnayder scored two baskets in the lane and Morrison drove for a basket on a 6-0 burst that gave St. Michael a 48-44 lead with 3:23 left.
Easton closed to 50-48 on two free throws by Figueroa, but Warriors center Molly Smith hit a baseline jump shot at 2:25, and St. Michael’s worked the clock after its next possession.
Easton led 23-16 after an Anderson basket with 3:58 left of the second quarter. However, Badon sank two 3-pointers to keep St. Michael close.
Anderson then picked up her third foul at 1:14 of the second, and Figueroa her third with 13.5 seconds showing guarding the ball 40 feet from the basket. Both stayed out until midway of the third quarter. However, Anderson got her fourth foul at the 3:07 mark trying to make a steal 30 feet from the basket.