By Ian Kayanja
ANTIOCH — Cane Ridge junior guard Jada Anthony ended Spring Hill’s season Friday night, dropping 29 points to lead the Lady Ravens to a 61-54 win in the Region 6-AAA quarterfinals Friday night.
“Jada’s a baller,” Cane Ridge coach JoAnn Tribue said after the game. “She’s carried us all year. She was our district MVP last year, she’s our MVP this year. It’s amazing the things she can do. She’s an all-around player.”
Anthony’s all-around abilities were on full display all night. She shot 12-26 (46 percent) from the floor and 2-7 (28 percent) from 3-point range. Her ballhandling ability allowed her to penetrate Spring Hill’s matchup zone defense, and get open looks at the basket throughout the game.
“We let her play her ballgame, and gave her plays in the midst,” Tribue said.
Anthony scored a bevy of baskets off steals and Spring Hill turnovers. She disrupted the passing lanes and found comfort in the open floor, scoring six straight points off steals that led to fast-break layups in the third quarter. She ended the game with six steals total.
Tribue credited it to her “natural instincts” as she made life difficult for the Raiders on both the offensive and defensive sides of the floor.
Yet in Spring Hill’s case, coach Matt Horton attributed the difficult loss not just to Anthony’s sensational play, but also the constant foul trouble that plagued the Raiders throughout the game.
“We got into foul trouble and we ended up having to play some people in positions they do not normally play, “ Horton said. “I felt good going into the second half, but we got in a bit of foul trouble and that is just hard to overcome.”
“We were in the bonus both halves and that is so hard to overcome.”
The Lady Raiders’ leading scorer, senior guard Sierra Stedman, ended her night with 22 points on 9-15 shooting from the field. And if not for early foul trouble that forced Stedman to the bench, things may have gone differently for Spring Hill.
When Stedman went to the bench late in the first quarter with two fouls, Spring hill led 8-6. With her off the floor, the Raiders were outscored 8-3. And by the end of the first quarter, Spring Hill trailed in the game 14-11.
“It’s hard to get into offense because we had people out there that didn’t normally play together,” Horton said.
Offensive difficulties followed Spring Hill into the second quarter as the Raiders were outscored 16-10 in the frame. At the half, Spring Hill trailed by nine, 30-21. The third quarter was more of the same, and heading into the fourth Spring Hill trailed by 12, 44-32.
Stedman came to life in the last frame of action as she attempted to will her team back into the game. She scored 12 of her 22 in the quarter, as she gave Spring Hill a fighting chance to pull out a win.
In the end, the Cane Ridge lead was too much to overcome for Spring Hill. A valiant comeback effort was thwarted just seven points short.
Despite the loss, Horton after the game could not say enough about Stedman’s impact on his team throughout the year.
“I can’t say enough good things about her,” Horton said. “The progress she’s made from her junior year to her senior year is huge. There is no doubt she can play. I think some college will be ridiculous to not take a chance on her.”
Cane Ridge girls 61, Spring Hill 54
SH 11 10 11 22 — 54
CR 14 16 14 17 — 61
Spring Hill (54) — Sierra Stedman 22, Prairie Stedman 10, Belle Brashear 8, Ricole Alderson 8, Kat Carter 3, Jayce Brashear 3
Cane Ridge (61) — Jada Anthony 29, Jeremanish McGlaughy 7, A’ Niya Young 7, Charlee Gloyd 6, Zoe Kerr 6, Jasamine Greer 6
3-pointers — Spring Hill 7 (S. Stedman 4, B. Brashear 2, J. Brashear) Cane Ridge 2 (Anthony 2)