The showdown between two of The New Orleans Advocate’s Top 10 teams lived up to every bit of the billing.
Shaquina Tobias sank two free throws with two seconds left to secure a 52-47 win for Warren Easton over Cabrini on Monday.
Easton improved to 26-1 on the season, while Cabrini fell to 20-5.
“It’s fun knowing there are a lot of people in New Orleans who can play basketball like this,” Easton guard Kechelle Figueroa said. “We’re used to playing games like this. We work as a team, and we play every game like it’s the championship game.”
Figueroa tied for a team-high 15 points on the night.
“Cabrini is for real,” Easton coach Darius Mimms said. “They’re not No. 4 in the state for nothing. They wanted to beat us bad.”
Cabrini led most of the game, opening the game on a 7-0 run and leading 18-15 at halftime.
The Eagles made adjustments in the second half, switching to a full-court press. They forced a few turnovers and tied the game at 20 at 4:40 in the third quarter and took their first lead 26 seconds later.
Sabrina Banks helped key Easton’s comeback, scoring a team-high 15 points, mostly in the paint.
“I was just doing what my coach told me,” Banks said. “He said ‘Let the beast out. Do what you can do,’ and I just did what I could to help my team.”
Easton struggled from the free-throw line most of the night, but made them when they needed to the most. Figueroa scored five of her 15 points on free throws and made two foul shots to extend the Eagles’ lead to three with 11 seconds remaining just before Tobias hit her two to seal it.
“We work on free throws every day in practice,” Tobias said. “We just had to take our time, focus and make our shots.”
Easton’s next game will be at Franklin Feb. 5. They will be going for their ninth straight win.
Cabrini will try to rebound when they square off against Ursuline, also on Feb. 5.