MIDDLE VILLAGE, N.Y. — People often incorrectly pronounce the first name of Ribault (Jacksonville, Fla.) forward Rennia Davis.
Here’s a tip for college coaches who may already be calling after the junior led her team to a 49-41 defeat of 10th-ranked Seton Catholic (Chandler, Ariz.) in a semifinal Friday at the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals.
The 6-1 wing opened the game with two quick three-pointers and finished with a team-high 20 points and 13 rebounds. When the Sentinels tried to stay tight on her outside, she made them pay with inside shots.
“In warmups, I didn’t hit any threes,” Davis said. “In the game, I just took what the defense was giving me. In the second half, I started distributing the ball more.”
About the only thing Davis didn’t do right was she fouled out with less than a minute to go and her team up 46-40.
“I wasn’t worried about what we would do and I wasn’t upset at the refs,” Davis said. “I was mostly upset with myself. When I get a bad call, I have to do a better job of not showing that on my face. I have to lead the rest of the team.”
Ribault coach Shelia Pennick said that Davis has the quickness to keep teams from doubling her on the perimeter. Seton Catholic coach Kathy Self agreed.
“I feel like we got hurt because we were not good in transition with her,” Self said. “We wanted to push her to her left hand and try to make her work. I feel like they’re a great team. They are really well-rounded. They brought more pressure than we were able to handle. We didn’t attack the pressure when we wanted to. One of the keys was composure and we didn’t stay composed.”
The Sentinels played only five players, all of whom will be back next season. Leanne Wirth led the team with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Kendall Krick had 11 points and Jenn Wirth had 11 rebounds and six points.
Ribault coach Shelia Pennick said the 12th-ranked Trojans (29-1) worked at keeping the Sentinels (31-2) from getting the ball to the Wirth twins and reacting quickly when they did get the ball.
“We just had great help-side defense,” Pennick said. “I talked to them to make sure they continued to be resilient. All we needed to do was outscore them. As a coach, I appreciate where we are, knowing we did not play our best game. Knowing we can play better as a team makes me look forward to tomorrow.”
Ribault advances to play Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) in Saturday’s championship at Madison Square Garden. It will be the third girls national championship matchup between a Maryland and a Florida team.
Pennick said she’s talked to Potters House (Jacksonville) coach Tony Bannister and others who have seen Riverdale Baptist play.
“We’re going to be getting into some films later on,” Pennick said. “I talked to him a little bit before I came up and I’ll probably talk again to him tonight. I also talked to the coach at Miami Country Day. I just want to enjoy today for a little bit first.”