The Hot Read: Marist jumped out to a 27-14 lead at the half en route to scoring a 62-24 girls basketball victory over Shepard in semifinal play Wednesday at the Class 4A Shepard Regional. The RedHawks used their double-teaming pressure defense to shut out the Astros in the third quarter as they widened their lead to 46-14. Jeanice Brewer hit a three-pointer for Shepard and the end of the fourth quarter. but it was nowhere near enough.
Patch's MVP: Asiana Bey (13 points, 4 rebounds). Bey hit a shot as the buzzer sounded at the end of the first quarter to give Marist a 15-2 lead.
Key Stats: Neither team was exceptional from the free throw line, but the RedHawks were slightly better. Marist went 4-of-9 from the line, while the Astros went 3-of-9. The RedHawks racked up 23 rebounds, while Shepard had 19 rebounds.
Marist Leaders: Leah Bolton (11 points, 2 rebounds). C'airra Cortez (10 points, 1 rebound). Jetaun Rouse (8 points).
Shepard Leaders: Kayla McKinney (11 points, 2 rebounds). Jamila McClinton (6 points, 6 rebounds). Amanda Weiss (2 points, 4 rebounds).
Quotable I: Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly on her team achieving what they set out to do: "We wanted to hold them under 30 points for the game. We just made a couple adjustments at halftime and told them they needed to pick up their intensity level a little bit."
Quotable II: Astros coach Rick Mundo said his team is already focusing on improving for next season: "The girls for the past week or so have already been asking, 'What are we doing for the spring? What are we doing in the summer? What extra basketball are we going to play besides just our regular stuff?' They just want to get after it right away."
Team Records: Marist, 25-5. Shepard finishes at 12-15.
What's next: The RedHawks will take on Sandburg game in the Class 4A Shepard Regional championship game Thursday night.