Lady Cards bust Lady Broncos

Published 7:10 am Monday, December 18, 2023

A highly anticipated matchup of defending Region Champions occurred on Friday, Dec. 15th, when the George Rogers Clark Lady Cardinals (6-0) met the Frederick Douglass Lady Broncos (2-3) at GRC Arena in Winchester.

Yet, an explosive offense and disruptive defense kept the Lady Cards out in front from the outset.

Aided by fifteen three-point baskets that yielded 45 points, the Lady Cards never trailed and scored a season-high to date during a convincing 80-37 victory.

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“We came out and [forced] some turnovers early. We made some early baskets,” said GRC head coach Robbie Graham. “We shot the ball really well, probably as good as we’ve shot it in a long time.”

With aggressive full-court and half-court press defense, the Lady Cards created trouble early on for the Lady Broncos, who came in with a roster negatively impacted by injury.

However, led by five three-point baskets from Anaya Chestnut and four from Kennedy Stamper, the Cards built an early advantage.

Perhaps the most notable three-point basket came courtesy of senior Makili Tabor.

With time running down in the first quarter, Tabor got a shot off from the corner with less than one second remaining and – as the buzzer sounded – saw it go through the hoop to extend GRC’s lead to 21-7 following the first period.

After the Lady Cards went to the halftime locker room with a 41-20 lead, they wasted little time establishing control as they returned for the second half.

The Lady Cards established a running clock by opening the third period on a 19-3 run.

With University of Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese in attendance, the heavily recruited Ciara Byars tied Chestnut for the team lead with 17 points before exiting the game for much of the fourth quarter.

“I think everyone just brings something different to the table [on offense]”, Byars said. “When you play a man or zone [defense], we can get it going.”

The second half marked a stark contrast from last year’s matchup between the two teams when the Lady Broncos rallied for a 73-66 victory.

“With that loss last year, we did have that chip on our shoulder,” Byars said. “We took it [personally], and we came out here ready to play and defend our home court.”

After the game, Frederick Douglass head coach Daryl Moberly noted that GRC outrebounding the Lady Broncos played a large role.

“The energy wasn’t there. [We] couldn’t rebound [and] couldn’t box out”, he said. “You look up [and] they have at least three to four girls in the paint trying to rebound.”

Following Friday’s victory, the Lady Cards will play next at the White, Greer & Maggard Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic High School.

While the first game is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 22nd at 12:30 p.m., the opponent is yet to be announced.