Led by seniors Nettie Brown and Nigia Greene, the St. Francis Lady Knights were too much for Calvary Day to handle in the Class A-Private semifinals at Kennesaw State.
Brown’s 16 points paced the way for St. Francis and a resurgent Greene, just weeks back from a knee injury, added 12 in a 50-27 blowout.
“I think Nettie and Nigia have it in their mind that they want to win a state championship, and they know if they play the way they know they can then they have a great chance of doing just that,“ said St. Francis head coach Aisha Kennedy.
“Today we played great, we’ve tried to push the tempo and play fast all year. We did it early on [against Calvary Day] and it paid off.”
Calvary Day’s Alexus Parker opened the scoring with a lay-up on the Lady Cavs’ first posession, but it was all St. Francis from there.
Sparked by 10 first quarter points from Brown, St. Francis went on a 14-0 run to open up a 14-2 lead. Olivia Harrell hit a 3-pointer to cut the margin to 14-5 but the Lady Knights scored seven straight to end the first quarter with a 21-5 lead.
Tenacious pressure defense kept Calvary Day without a field goal in the second quarter and St. Francis pushed the margin to 30-6 when Anna Stewart converted an old-fashioned three-point play with three minutes to play in the half -- St. Francis eventually went into intermission with a 34-8 advantage.
“We came out and played hard early,” said Brown, who did most of her damage in the paint. “We were able to get inside and I think that surprised them little bit, we didn’t let up the whole game and it feels great to get this win.”
Greene led the way with eight points in the third quarter as the Lady Knights pushed the margin to 36 and went into a time-shortened fourth period with a 50-14 lead.
Abby Grant and Candice Williams scored six points each for St. Francis, Amanda Tramble added four while Jade Davis and Stewart both scored three.
Harrell scored 12 to lead the Lady Cavs. Parker scored 11.
St. Francis, who entered the tournament ad he third overall seed, will play No. 1 seed Holy Innocents’ or No. 4 seed Southwest Atlanta Christian in the state championship game next Friday.
“It’s huge for our program,” said Kennedy. “I was able to get there as a player and it’s going to be even sweeter as a coach.”