SPRINGFIELD — This Rutherford girls basketball team might not be aware of the history that it is making, but that doesn’t mean the Lady Rams aren’t enjoying the ride.
Perhaps none more than Marsheba Addison, who watched from the sideline last January with a severe knee injury when Rutherford was eliminated in the district tournament.
Addison, a junior power forward, overcame a slow start to pour in 20 points as Rutherford defeated overmatched Suwannee 62-36 Thursday in a Region 1-5A quarterfinal.
It was the first region win in school history in just the second regional game ever featuring the Lady Rams since girls basketball became a varsity sport in the late 1970s.
“We really aren’t aware, we just know it’s been a couple years since we won a district championship,” Addison said, not knowing that she and her teammates accomplished the first one for the program last Saturday.
The Lady Rams, 12-7, will play at Tallahassee Rickards Tuesday in a Region 1-5A semifinal game. Suwannee finished 4-19.
Addison shot only 3 of 13 from the field in the first half, but Rutherford still led 28-10 at intermission thanks in large part to a huge disparity at the free-throw line. The Lady Rams were 12-15 at that stage compared to 2-12 for the Bulldogs, who finished just 11-32.
“I didn’t warm up right before the game,” Addison said of her first-half performance. She immediately put that behind her while scoring 11 points in the third quarter as Rutherford opened a 27-point lead to settle the outcome.
“I came out with the mindset to score,” said Addison, who also led her team with 10 rebounds. “We weren’t doing anything but making free throws.”
And getting into foul trouble. Point guard Tatyanna Bell had four by early in the third quarter and center Shavaria Hills got her third with nearly 14 minutes remaining to play.
That didn’t become a factor as the Lady Bulldogs were without leading scorer Kyra McClendon, who didn’t make the trip for undisclosed reasons. That left junior Daydia Bandy as Suwannee’s lone scoring threat, and her game-high 23 points weren’t nearly enough to prevent the Lady Rams from reaching their first region semifinal.
Addison had plenty of support as nine Rutherford players scored. Alisha Williams netted a pair of 3-pointers among 13 points and Bell had 12 points, leading the Lady Rams along with Williams when Addison couldn’t find the range in the first half.
Rutherford also shot the ball effectively as a team, complementing six 3-pointers with 16-25 at the line.
- SUWANNEE (36)
- Jones 0 0-2 0, Bandy 8 7-16 23, Clayton 1 0-0 3, Kilby 0 2-4 2, Glass 0 1-4 1, Williams 2 1-2 5, Wheeler 0 0-1 0, Leggett 1 0-3 2. Totals: 12 11-32 36.
- RUTHERFORD (62)
- McMillan 1 0-0 2, Watson 2 0-0 5, Caroll 0 2-6 2, Garner 0 2-2 2, Bell 2 7-10 12, Jackson 0 1-2 1, Kohl 0 0-0 0, Addison 9 0-0 20, Williams 4 3-3 13, Hills 2 1-2 5. Total: 30 16-25 62.
- Suwannee 4 6 9 17 — 36
- Rutherford 13 15 18 16 — 62
- 3-point goals: Suwannee 1 (Clayton), Rutherford 6 (Williams 2, Addison 2, Watson, Bell). Total fouls: Suwannee 19, Rutherford 22. Fouled out: none.
Rickards 67, Bay 40
TALLAHASSEE — Rickards jumped out to a 27-15 halftime and poured it on in the second half to end Bay’s season in a regional quarterfinal game. Na’Kiya Russell paced Bay with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Whitney Peterson added nine points and eight rebounds and Jasmine James six points and six rebounds for Bay, which finished the season 9-14.