Sharda Beane of Lancaster slaps down a rebound but it hits teammate Zyhkeia Bullock. Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
Beane scored six points in the final two minutes to help Lancaster capture the regular season title and earn a top seed in the district tournament semifinals this week.
Lancaster finished the regular season with an 8-2 record in the district and 18-4 overall mark.
Northumberland earned a shot in the playoff game after going 7-2 in the Northern Neck during regular season play and getting a forfeit from Washington & Lee last week for an 8-2 district record. After officials did not show up for the Indians-Eagles game, Washington & Lee forfeited rather than try to reschedule.
The Indians entered this week’s district tournament in second place and were scheduled to play third-place Colonial Beach in a semifinal game. Lancaster played fourth-place Essex. The two winners will meet in the tournament championship game at 6 p.m. Friday, February 15, at LHS.
Lancaster and Northumberland split contests during the regular season and Monday night’s tie-breaker went to the wire. After trading baskets with the Indians for most of the first quarter, Lancaster opened the second with a 6-1 run to go up 17-11 before the Lady Indians put up six unanswered points, including a three-pointer by Nia Jones, to tie the contest at 17-17 with three minutes to play in the half. The Lady Devils reopened their lead with a quick 5-0 run and took a 22-17 lead into the locker room.
Northumberland overcame an early seven-point third-quarter deficit with a 6-0 run. Tylisha Crockett, who was fouled on a three-pointer, sank three from the line to pull the Indians within a point, 26-25, and Jones sank the second of two free throws to tie the contest for a second time at 26-26. Crockett hit 7 of 8 free throws on the night and led Northumberland with 17 points.
The Lady Indians took their first lead of the game, 30-28, with seconds to go in the third, but the host Devils answered for a 30-30 lock to end the quarter.
There was one more tie and another lead change in the fourth before the Lady Devils took the lead for good with two minutes to play. Beane went end-to-end for a layup that gave Lancaster a 41-39 lead. The Lady Devils came up with an immediate steal following Beane’s shot and Arkasia Sutton went up for two. Davenport had a critical block her fourth of the night and Trenae Henderson took the ball back down the court for two and a 45-39 LHS lead.
Northumberland got as close as three, 47-44, after a three-pointer by Crockett and a basket by Jones with 25 seconds to play, and then cut the Lady Devils’ lead to two, 48-46, with six seconds to play when Rajaa Shabazz hit one of two free throws.
At the other end, Anesha White hit the first of two free throws but missed the second. The ball was smacked down under the basket and Beane came up with the stick back at the buzzer.
Beane had the big game for Lancaster with 17 points. White added 10, including six in the fourth quarter when the Lady Devils outscored the Indians 21-16.
Tr. Henderson added eight for Lancaster and Davenport had seven.
Jones scored 14 for Northumberland and hit two three-pointers in the game.