DICK'S Nationals girls championship preview: Ribault (Fla.) vs. Riverside Baptist (Md.)

DICK'S Nationals girls championship preview: Ribault (Fla.) vs. Riverside Baptist (Md.)

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DICK'S Nationals girls championship preview: Ribault (Fla.) vs. Riverside Baptist (Md.)

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Who: No. 1 Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) vs. No. 3 Ribault (Jackonsville)
When: 10 a.m. ET, Saturday
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
TV: ESPN2

SEMIFINAL COVERAGE:

Riverdale Baptist comes back to beat St. Francis

Ribault downs Seton Catholic

Riverdale Baptist reacts after defeating St. Francis 57-50 during Dick's Sporting Goods High School Basketball Nationals at Christ the King Regional high school -- Photo by Andy Marlin USA TODAY Sports Images, Gannett ORG XMIT: US 134676 Dick's basketbal 4/1/2016 [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

Riverdale Baptist reacts after defeating St. Francis 57-50 (Photo: Andy Marlin, USA TODAY Sports)

About Riverdale Baptist: Riverdale Baptist (37-3) will play for its third DICK’S Nationals title in five years. Ranked No. 5 in the USA TODAY Sports Super 25, the Lady Crusaders rallied from a nine-point deficit with 7:04 remaining for a 57-50 victory against St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.) in Friday’s semifinal. Riverdale Baptist led for only about five and a half minutes, mostly in the fourth quarter. Using its stifling defense, the Lady Crusaders forced 28 turnovers and scored 24 points off them. Maryland-bound McDonald’s All American Kaila Charles struggled through the first three quarters, shooting just 4 of 18 from the field, but turned it on down the stretch by sinking three of her five shots in the fourth quarter.

About Ribault:  Ribault (29-1) is ranked No. 12 in the Super 25 this season and has won 11 state titles. Rennia Davis, a 6-1 wing, scored 20 points and had 13 rebounds to lead Ribault to a 49-41 victory against Seton Catholic (Chandler, Ariz.) in the school’s DICK’S debut. Davis  averages a double-double and shoots 38% from three. Day’Neshia Banks had 12 and Kayla Rogers scored 11 for the Florida 5A champions, who plowed through the postseason with an average margin of victory of 34 points. Banks is joined in the backcourt by speedy point guard Kayla Rogers, who also averages in double figures.

4/1/2016 1:00AM -- Middle Village, NY, U.S.A -- Seton Catholic guard Kendall Krick (33) defends against Ribault guard Day'neshia Banks (24) as she plays the ball during the first half during Dick's Sporting Goods High School Basketball Nationals at Christ the King Regional high school. -- Photo by Andy Marlin USA TODAY Sports Images, Gannett ORG XMIT: US 134676 Dick's basketbal 4/1/2016 [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

Seton Catholic guard Kendall Krick (33) defends against Ribault guard Day’neshia Banks (Photo: Andy Marlin, USA TODAY Sports)

What to expect: It’s Florida vs. Maryland for the third time in girls history at DICK’S Nationals. Ribault will attempt to give the Sunshine State a repeat after Miami County Day’s win last year. Oddly enough, these teams have two common opponents — Miami Country Day and Potter’s House (Jacksonville). Ribault coach Sheila Pennick said she’s talked to both those coaches and planned to call again Friday night. Ribault beat Potter’s House 69-58 and Riverdale Baptist won 75-36. Ribault beat Miami Country Day 74-54 and Riverdale beat MCD 54-41.

Get your running shoes out for this one. Riverdale Baptist uses its defense to push the pace, but Ribault is no slouch when it comes to going up and down the court. Both teams started slowly Friday, given the gap since they last played. With the rust off, both should be more in sync. Don’t expect Kaila Charles to struggle as she did early. Getting Charles going early — plus the Riverdale Baptist defense — could be a challenge for Ribault.

 

 

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DICK'S Nationals girls championship preview: Ribault (Fla.) vs. Riverside Baptist (Md.)
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