The Lady Raiders made the long flight to Charleston, South Carolina and returned home champions.
The Lady Raiders began the Carolina Invitational with a 53-32 win over Bishop England. Olivia Vinson was the catalyst for the win. The freshman knocked down five threes in a row before the halftime buzzer ever rang. Elli Chumley was also instrumental to the win with the senior orchestrating the offense and making key layups during the second half. Chumley would finish the game with 11 points. Vinson’s sharpshooting gave center Chloe Gannon some breathing room in the paint. The junior knocked down four free throws and two layups to pad the Lady Raiders 18 point lead at halftime. The win advanced the team to the semifinal against Worthington, Ohio.
The Lady Raiders jumped ahead early, scoring 35 points to Worthington’s 14. Vinson and Chumley once again willed the team ahead. The duo scored five points each in the opening quarter, while Chumley closed out the half with eight points. Chloe and Channah Gannon went to work in the post. The sisters combined for 14 points in the win. After the massive first half from the Lady Raiders, it was a cleanup exercise. The team defeating Worthington 60-29.
The championship game was against Midland Caleb, West Virginia, and it proved the toughest challenge yet for the Lady Raiders. Both teams clamped down on the other with no team reaching a double digit lead. The defensive effort was so stout on the court that neither team cracked 17 points before the half. Chumley and Kiya Ferrell both were able to punch through the stout defense, albeit momentarily. The pair of seniors both scored four points each, with Chumley’s coming off of free throws and Ferrell’s off lay ups. Jalie Ruehling also found some space on the perimeter and scored a tough three pointer. The Lady Raiders stepped up in the closing quarter as Vinson, Reel and Chloe Gannon all made shots down the stretch. After the physical contest had concluded the Lady Raiders emerged victories with a 38-31 victory.
The Lady Raiders next play against the hosting Shelbyville Golden Eagles on Jan. 7.