Rebel girls dominate Heritage Christian

Published 9:30 am Friday, January 31, 2020

LaFayette— It didn’t take long for the Chambers Academy girls basketball team to build a sizable lead against Heritage Christian in the Rebels 53-19 win on Thursday.

“I’m just tremendously proud of this group,” Chambers head coach Jeff Hines said. “We’re area champs, and we get a bye all the way to the elite eight. You can’t ask for anything better than that.”

With the win, the Rebels (14-5, 8-0) finished undefeated in their region, claiming a first-round bye in the AISA state tournament, which starts next week.

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After starting slowly all year, the Rebels had one of their best first quarters of the season, as they outscored the Eagles 19-6 in the first quarter. Chambers was able to get inside and basically do whatever it wanted, scoring with ease for almost the entire eight-minute quarter.

The Rebels continued to pass the ball inside to junior forward Britten Stephens. She scored seven of the 19 Rebel points in the opening quarter.

With 3:30 left in the first quarter, the Eagles had scored just two points. In the same timeframe, the Rebels had rattled off 12 straight points.

“We haven’t started really fast all year, and I thought we got off to a really good start tonight,” Hines said. “I was really pleased with how we started the ball game.”

The Rebels continued to battle inside in the second quarter, as they padded their lead to 17 points.

Ball movement was key in the first half, as the Rebels were able to constantly move the ball around the floor. On a couple of fast-break opportunities in the first half, the ball didn’t touch the floor until it dropped through the net.

“We did a good job of sharing the ball tonight,” Hines said. “We found the open person.”

After resting for most of the second quarter, Stephens dominated the Eagles again in the third quarter. She finished with eight points in the quarter, scoring the first six of the second half herself.

“I thought [Stephens] had one of her better games tonight,” Hines said. “She caught the ball and squared up or caught it and drop stepped before laying it up, which she hasn’t been doing. I thought she played really well tonight.”

The Rebels led by 30 at the end of the third quarter.

Even with the large lead with a running clock, the Rebels didn’t slow their defensive pressure, as they allowed only five points in the final eight minutes of play.

Stephens finished with a team-high 17 points.

“I thought [Stephens] had one of her better games tonight,” Hines said. “She caught the ball and squared up or caught it and drop stepped before laying it up, which she hasn’t been doing. I thought she played really well tonight.”

Sophomores Lexi Smith and Natalie Lovelace each finished in double figures, scoring 12 and 10 points respectively.