Bulldog Nation

Crestwood stuns Robichaud; Rodriguez hits 7 triples

By Terry Jacoby
Twitter @MIPrepZone_DPG

During a game like Friday night’s Crestwood-Robichaud matchup the moment came midway through the fourth quarter. The “moment” was when the thinking went from a regular-season girls’ basketball game to something of historical perspective or relevance or importance.

And then she hit another triple!

The “she” is Crestwood’s Demi Rodriguez, who hit four of her seven triples in the fourth quarter and finished with 32 points in a shocking 81-78 victory over Robichaud. It was shocking in the sense that the Chargers didn’t exactly come into the game running on all cylinders. Shocking in the sense that Robichaud is still considered one of the top teams in the state after losing in the quarterfinals last season. Shocking in the sense that the Bulldogs feature senior guard Kamaria McDaniel, who is already signed with Penn State, and senior guard Kayla Brown, who has signed with Detroit Mercy.

OK, we will stop with the shocking.

One more. Shocking in the sense that Rodriguez, who led the Chargers in scoring last season, is only a sophomore.

Last one. Shocking in the sense that Rodriguez and the Chargers never lost their composure after giving up a double-digit lead in the third quarter in about 3 minutes and kept battling every time the talented Bulldogs tied the game or took the lead in the fourth quarter.

“It’s a great win,” said Rodriguez, who was smiling but still composed even after the game. “We knew we had to contain their best two players and we wanted to show them that we can play too.”

Rodriquez knew she was in a place few athletes ever get to reach. She was in that zone where she was pretty much unstoppable, making shots few athletes would ever even attempt.

“I was in a zone for sure,” she said. “I was just feeling it. I knew we had to beat this team. They think they are the best team and tonight we got them.”

The game was historical in the sense that Rodriguez nailed seven triples in a game. She made four in one quarter. She scored 32 points. Her talented teammate, Maya Barakat, finished with 27 points. Barakat, who is only a freshman, and Rodriguez, just a sophomore, combined for 59 points – how often has that happened in Crestwood history?

Speaking of history, Crestwood (7-4 overall) scored 81 points. Is that a school record? The two teams combined for 159 points. School record? Crestwood Coach Bill Bright said it’s the most points he’s ever seen scored in a Crestwood girls’ game.

“This was a huge win for us,” Bright said. “They have two Division 1 players on their team and they are an excellent team. We have been struggling a little bit so to see the way we came out and play offensively and the type of effort we gave was very satisfying to see. And as long as I’ve been here, this is one of the biggest wins I’ve been a part of. Certainly the highest scoring game I have ever been associated with in girls’ basketball.”

While Rodriguez and Barakat were the stars offensively for the Chargers, the key to this win was composure.

“We have been working on composure all year long and it really showed tonight,” Bright said.

Barakat, who was tough inside all game long and helped free up the perimeter game for the Chargers, scored 12 of her 27 points in the first quarter. Natalia Ortiz, another sophomore guard, scored 14 in the game for the Chargers.

Robichaud’s one-two punch of McDaniel and Brown were simply awesome on Friday night. McDaniel, who can score both inside and outside and dominate a game, finished with a game-high 33 points. Brown was equally as impressive, finishing with 32 points as the two guards scored 55 of Robichaud’s 78 points on the night.

Monae Palmer, a senior guard, scored 11 for the Bulldogs.

After a bank shot by Brown gave the Bulldogs a 66-64 lead, Rodriguez nailed back-to-back triples to give the hosts a 70-68 lead with 3:40 left in the game. Brown made a tough running shot in the lane to tie the game at 70-70 before Rodriguez knocked down another triple.

She hit her fourth triple of the quarter, this one from the top of the key, to give the Chargers a 78-76 lead with 1:10 left to play in the game.

With 17 seconds left, Brown nailed a jump shot to cut the lead to 79-78.

Rodriguez hit two free throws with 14.6 seconds left to make it 81-78.

The Bulldogs had one good look at a triple before the buzzer but the ball bounced off the rim and sent the Chargers into a wild and deserving celebration.

A triple by Hiba Daifi early in the third quarter gave the home team a 40-29 lead before the Bulldogs went on a 17-6 run to tie the game at 46-46. The game was tied 55-55 after three quarters.

The Chargers led 17-11 after one quarter after senior Annmarie Carmona made a great pass underneath to Barakat who hit the layup at the buzzer.

The Bulldogs stormed back and took a 25-20 lead before the Chargers went on a 17-4 run to take a 37-29 lead into halftime.





Last Updated: 1/21/2017 2:25:41 AM EST

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