With the last horn recently going off, Cross Creek coach Kim Schlein raised her fist in triumph and smiled.
Her team remained undefeated, with the most recent victory meaning the most.
The Lady Razorbacks kept their spotless record by beating perennial area power Hephzibah, 58-50, on Tuesday night at Laney in the Holiday Round Ball Classic. Cross Creek meets Laney in the championship at 7 tonight.
“I knew this was important,” said Schlein, a former assistant for Hephzibah coach Wendell Lofton. “We had to prove we can play with some of the best teams around.”
Cross Creek’s depth and quickness were too much for the Lady Rebels as seven players scored at least five points. From the other bench, only four Hephzibah members had at least five points.
A team dominated by sophomores and juniors, the Lady Razorbacks scored 12 of the opening 15 points as they used their transition game to take advantage of Hephzibah’s string of poor shots and turnovers. Ashleigh Outler started strongly, using a steal for an easy layup.
Though Hephzibah’s Shanice Williams was sometimes a mismatch in the post and used her size for three early buckets to make it only 14-11 Cross Creek, the Lady Rebels’ defense wasn’t there.
Breanna Bryant soon raced down the court to beat Hephzibah’s five on one layup while Alexis Anderson and Tia Pullens scored aggressive buckets inside.
“We’ll grow,” Lofton said. “We’ll get better.”
The Lady Rebels’ Tiffani Harrison tried to ignite a rally, joining Williams in double figures.
Harrison finished with a game-best 15 points.
She drove to begin the fourth and cut the score to only 43-34, but Hephzibah got no closer even with Cross Creek running into some turnover problems.
Jasmine Kilgore eventually ensured the win by posting nine points of her team-high 12 points in the
In staying perfect, Cross Creek (10-0) set up its biggest challenge yet: Laney.
Schlein said the team talked about tonight’s matchup after the victory over Hephzibah.
They see the game with Laney as a David vs. Goliath showdown.
“We need to prove to ourselves we can play,” Schlein said.