With her team trailing by eight points at the half following a sluggish second quarter, Eleanor Roosevelt High School guard Jazmin Faulkner issued a simple message to her teammates and the third-ranked Raiders responded emphatically with a 57-52 upset of second-ranked Charles H. Flowers Tuesday night in Springdale.
“We knew we had to turn it up,” said Faulkner, who led all scorers with 19 points, including 13 in the pivotal second half. “I brought my team in and I told them that we had to stick together even though we’re down and we came out. We just picked up our defense, we just worked hard. I just said, `Let’s go,’ and we picked up. It’s a real big win.”
The Raiders (10-0, 7-0 4A League) were outscored 15-7 in the second quarter as numerous turnovers were created by Flowers’ relentless fullcourt press. A balanced offensive attack employed by the Jaguars (8-2, 6-1) helped them take a 33-25 halftime advantage despite senior point guard Kyah Proctor sidelined most of the first half because of foul trouble.
“We were struggling in the first half,” said Roosevelt coach Delton Fuller, who received 16 points and 10 rebounds from Tolu Omokore. “I told them to stick with the program.”
Flowers still held a 37-29 lead almost midway through the third quarter, but once Proctor acquired her third foul with 4 minutes, 5 seconds remaining, the game quickly shifted to Roosevelt, which responded to Proctor’s exit with a 9-0 run.
“We’ve got a defense called diamond, kind of got in their face,” Fuller said. “I knew once Proctor and the big girl [De’Janae Boykin] got into foul trouble and I saw Proctor come off the floor, I went to our halfcourt press. That definitely worked to our advantage. It actually turned the game around. The girls turned it around and prevailed.”
The Raiders, who are tied with Bowie (9-1, 7-0) for first place in the 4A League, held a 40-38 lead after three quarters of play following a runner in the lane by Kaila Charles (12 points, eight rebounds) as they limited the Jaguars to five third quarter points.
Flowers fought back to forge a 45-45 tie on a stickback by Diamond Douglas with 4:52 left, but a modest 6-2 run gave the Raiders the lead for good. Faulkner pushed that lead to four with a running jump shot in the lane that followed a jumper from the left wing by Daria Simmons.
The Raiders then used just enough free throwing shooting and some timely steals, including two late by Alannah Baiyina, to seal the contest.
The Flowers offense became bogged down in the second half and numerous turnovers around the basket, including traveling violations or dribbles off an opponent’s foot, limited the Jaguars to 19 second half points. Boykin was held to eight points; she entered averaging nearly 19 points per game.
Proctor, despite the foul trouble, led the Jaguars with 14 points and Nicole Derrickson chipped in 10 points.
Eleanor Roosevelt 57, Charles H. Flowers 52
Roosevelt 18 7 15 17 — 57
Flowers 18 15 5 14 — 52
Eleanor Roosevelt (10-0, 7-0): Kaila Charles 12, Tolu Omokore 16, Jazmin Faulkner 19, Rebecca Bolinger 2, Daria Simmons 6, Alannah Baiyina 2.
Charles H. Flowers (8-2, 6-1): Bianca Brown 6, De’Janae Boykin 8, Kyah Proctor 14, Nicole Derrickson 10, Diamond Douglas 4, Kamani Brown 3, Jaida Jenkins 6, Chelsea Scarborough 1.