The Riverdale Baptist High School girls' basketball team took a little while to get going against Montgomery County's No. 1 Damascus. But after a scoreless two-plus minutes, Lena Niang opened the floodgates with the first of 11 3-pointers.
The No. 2 Crusaders worked from the outside in and hit half of their 22 3-pointers to defeat the Swarmin' Hornets 70-59 in Tuesday's cross-county, public-private school matchup in Upper Marlboro.
“We're a shooting team so we can shoot the ball,” said senior Chloe Jackson, who scored 17 points and made three 3-pointers. “That's kind of how we are. We get the ball outside and then go inside.”
Senior Chania Ray scored a team-high 22 points and hit two 3-pointers to lead Riverdale Baptist (21-3) to an eighth straight victory on senior night. Olivia Martino converted three 3-pointers while senior Alysha Berry hit two, including a third-quarter bank shot.
“I'm happy that our teammates can hit pressure threes in critical moments of the game,” said Ray, a Florida State commit. “It was a big push for us during the game.”
Damascus (18-3) had 11 straight wins heading into the game.
“For us to come out and show some poise and fight, I was very happy to see that,” Crusaders coach Sam Caldwell said. “As well as our four seniors playing well, they shot the ball well and really got stops when we needed to get stops.”
Damascus senior Kelli Prange scored a game-high 26 points and collected 16 rebounds. The George Washington commit scored 15 second-half points to keep her team in the game.
“I don't think you can actually solve the problem,” Caldwell said. “You got to just make them fight. [Prange] was very aggressive down there and she's a great player.”
Damascus stayed within striking distance for most of the game, but the Crusaders led comfortably from start to finish. Riverdale Baptist executed a trap which prevented any extended runs from Damascus. Berry wreaked havoc at the top, while Jackson (five steals) and Ray (three steals) came away with the loose balls.
“When [Berry] plays hard defense, she already has the offensive fumbling a little bit,” Ray said. “So I'm able to get the steal when I come to trap and help her out. So if it wasn't for her, I don't think I could get that many.”
Ray, Jackson (North Carolina State), senior Khaila Prather (University of Miami) and Berry combined for 51 of the team's 70 points in their final home game.
“It's bitter sweet,” Jackson said. “It felt good.”
Riverdale Baptist 70, Damascus 59
Damascus (18-3) 12 15 16 16 — 59
Riverdale Baptist (21-3) 15 18 19 18 — 70
Damascus — Kelli Prange 26, Lauren Green 16, Tiana Stewart 6, Jenna Kaufman 5, Libby Bowles 4, Anna Warfield 2.
Riverdale Baptist — Chania Ray 22, Chloe Jackson 17, Olivia Martino 9. Alysha Berry 6, Lena Niang 6, Khaila Prather 6, Mikiyah Croskey 4.