No. 11 Raiders have no answers for Frederick record-breaking guard in 3A state girls' basketball final
It was pretty easy for Atholton High to analyze its loss in the Class 3A state girls' basketball title game Saturday.
Makalya Daniels got off the bus. The Frederick guard was simply unstoppable, scoring 47 points to lead the Cadets to a 72-60 victory over the 11th-ranked Raiders at Towson University's SECU Arena.
Atholton got another outstanding performance for its senior backcourt of Ryan Jones and Francesca Vanegas. Jones had 25 points and three assists while Vanegas added 20 points, six rebounds, and nine rebounds.
Unfortunately for the Columbia school, it'll be a footnote in one of the greatest individual chapter in state girls' final four history, authored by Daniels. The 5-foot-7 sophomore, arguably the state's top public school underclassmen, set a new state mark with 76 points in two games. The previous mark was 73, set by Catoctin's Tammy Joy in 1981.
Daniels, who fell one point shy of matching Loch Raven High’s Janet Flora for most points in a championship game, seemed unfazed by the remarkable accomplishment.
“Coach kept calling plays for me and told me to keep going to the basket,” said Daniels, who was averaging 22 points and eight rebounds per game coming into the weekend.
“I guess No. 23 (Daniels) was our biggest problem,” Jones said. “We tried our best to do what we came here to do. I mean, we’re both really good teams. So, it’s a game of runs and they just had a better run.”
Atholton scored the first game's six points, but Frederick (26-2 overall) would construct a 14-point advantage by late third quarter. The Raiders got to within four points, but couldn't overtake Frederick and Daniels, who went 13-of-22 from the field and 17-of-25 from the charity stripe.
“Coach told us just to score and get a stop,” said Daniels, who already holds verbal scholarship offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Marshall, St. Joseph's (PA) and Richmond. “Score, stop.”
“It takes a lot of energy to fight back like that,” said Atholton coach Julia Reynold, whose team was denied its first state crown since 2007. “We just had to continue to fight for every bucket, but so did Frederick.”
The Raiders (20-6) had to win three straight road games to claim the East Region title and their first state final four berth since 2008. They can thanks Vanegas and Jones, who were brilliant in their final varsity match Saturday.
at SECU Arena
Atholton 15 14 13 18 — 60
Atholton: Francesca Vanegas 20, Ryan Jones 25, Bryce Bathras 8, Alexandra Hargrett 2, Zhuri Cannon 5. TOTALS: 20 12-19 61.
Last Updated (Thursday, 16 March 2017 13:21)