Rickards girls basketball coach Chariya Davis couldn’t have asked for a better start to her team’s game. At least from her opponent.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, while FAMU DRS was prone to missed jumpers and turning the ball over Saturday night, Davis’ group was also.
After a five-point first quarter for both teams and a narrow Rattlers lead at half, two-time defending state champion FAMU DRS put together a 17-1 run in the third quarter to pull away for a 62-41 victory.
“It wasn’t a good first quarter for both teams,” Davis said. “We need to execute and finish. Then we came out and probably shot 10 percent from the field in the second half. We could get stops, but we couldn’t score. That’s a big killer.”
FAMU DRS guard Jazmine Jones got her points at the free throw line in the first half before putting together a run of four field goals in the third quarter. She finished with a game-high 24 points and dished out five assists.
Rattlers power forward LaKaris Salter also began to find open looks and poured in 19 points while swallowing up 18 rebounds.
“We were a little feisty, kinda hyped so we had to slow ourselves down,” Salter said. “Second half, we came out and played better. We knew we had to slow down, get in control and play our game to win this game.”
Rickards (13-9) picked up 16 points and nine rebounds from forward Shannon Owens, while point guard Gabrielle Figgers chipped in 10, but 28 turnovers on the night with eight coming in the third period ended any upset thoughts.
“It’s a rivalry game,” FAMU DRS coach Ahmad Aliyy said. “They come out fired up, we come out fired up. Our emotions got a little too high. Once we got settled in, as the score indicated, we started to play.”
Ja’Nyia McNealy hit two 3-pointers to reach eight points, while Raygene Garner scored six points, grabbed seven rebounds and picked four steals. The Rattlers (23-5) scored 25 points in the third quarter but did turn the ball over 22 times. Despite that, FAMU DRS’ been there, done that attitude was reflected in the way it pounced when it had the opportunity for a kill.
“I feel like we can control our own destiny,” said Salter, who also blocked four shots. “We can control if we’re down or we’re up. We know how to get back in the lead if we’re behind. We know how to push the lead. We know how to murder people. It’s all in our mindset.”