Girls Basketball – Div. I Regional Final

Reynoldsburg beats Northland to earn state berth

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The Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team leaned on its defense to overcome poor shooting and beat Northland 47-37 for a Division I regional title March 10 at Otterbein University.

Vikings guard Alexis Peterson, who was the district’s Player of the Year, was held to 3-for-15 shooting and 11 points by a Raiders defensive corps that included Yamonie Jenkins.

Reynoldsburg improved to 26-0 and will play Twinsburg in a state semifinal at 8 p.m. Friday, March 16, at Ohio State. The Raiders also were state semifinalists in 2010.

Northland, which finished 24-2, was 14-for-41 from the floor.

“We’re athletic, we’re quick and our big girls are really long,” Raiders coach Jack Purtell said. “We struggled offensively a little bit today. In the first half they hit some shots, but we mixed up some matchup zone.”

The Vikings fell behind 11-4 with 3 minutes, 20 seconds to go in the opening quarter and trailed 26-18 by halftime.

Reynoldsburg’s Alyssa Rice made a pair of free throws to make it 28-18 with 7:30 left in the third quarter, and her team never led by fewer than eight after that.

The Raiders won despite shooting 16 of 42 from the floor and 12-for-19 from the free-throw line.

Rice finished with 12 points and eight rebounds and Destini Cooper had seven points and eight rebounds.

Northland post player Kierra Simpson had 10 points and eight rebounds. Peterson was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line, making four during the game’s final minute.

“(Reynoldsburg’s) a good basketball team,” Northland coach Dean Washington said. “They took us out of everything we tried to do. We hope they go on to win it all.”

Aliyah Zantt scored eight points, Adesuwa Aideyman had seven and Jenkins added six for the Raiders.

“We really tried to make it tough on them defensively,” Rice said. “We always try to pressure the ball and defend the post and the wings. We really get motivated off our defense, and that drives our offense.”

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