UPPER MARLBORO – Junior Kaylah Ivey tied a career-high 25 points to lead the Riverdale Baptist School’s girls basketball team to a 69-47 victory in the Lady Crusaders regular season finale over St. Joseph Central on Feb. 16.
Taking on the No. 1 rated team from West Virginia, the 5-foot-8 guard started the game strong for the Lady Crusaders, scoring a long-range jumper just seconds after the opening tipoff.
As both teams displayed shooting problems early, Riverdale (28-4) picked up the pace thanks to post players Lauren Banks and Taniyah Greene attacking the rim for easy layup opportunities.
The Lady Irish (17-4), who lost a close 58-54 game against National Christian Academy on Feb. 15, battled through fatigue to go on an 8-2 run and close out the second quarter.
Center Hannah Roberts connected with a long 3-point attempt to start the drive and freshman Imani Hickman scored five points to drop their deficit to one heading to halftime. Both players finished with 12 points each.
However, the third quarter was all Riverdale as they went on two separate 6-0 runs to push out their advantage further. As Ivey continued to provide a dominant presence around the rim, shooting guard Synia Johnson added seven of her final 13 points in the second half.
The Lady Crusaders continued to tire out the visitors with their ball movement on offense and physical play on defense. They forced seven steals, collected several rebounds and converted on multiple second-chance opportunities. Greene continued her dominating post play throughout the entire second half and finished with 12 points as Riverdale won its ninth straight game.
“We came out a little slow in the beginning but overall, especially after halftime, we started to pick it up, and it led us to the win,” Ivey said. “Coach (Bozeman) emphases working together and moving the ball is a key part of our offense, and it always leads up to a win.”
Riverdale will head to Dayton, Tennessee to play in the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) 2019 Girls Basketball Tournament. They will take on The Potter’s House Christian Academy from Jacksonville, Florida in the third game of the opening round on Feb. 20.