After first-round exits from the state tournament the last two years, the Redan girls are playing like a team with something to prove.
The Lady Raiders, throttled Fayette County 70-40 Friday night in the Class AAAA second round, their second straight 30-point win.
“We’ve been through a lot over the past three years,” said Redan’s Jada Byrd, who scored a game-high 23 points. “Coming out in the first round really gave us the killer instinct. It really gives us more motivation.”
Redan (25-2) sprinted away from Fayette late in the first quarter and turned the game into a rout by the middle of the third.
Byrd also had 13 rebounds and five assists, for Redan, whose two losses were both to No. 1 Columbia. Destiny McClary scored 17, Brea Elmore 15 and Jamese Abney 10 for Redan, which only traied in the opening minute and earned a home state quarterfinal appearance for its effort. McClary added five assists and Elmore four.
After Fayette’s Ciara Hughes scored from the lane to tie the game at 9 in the first period, Redan’s Destiny McClary scored three straight buckets, including a 3-pointer to close out the first quarter with the No. 3-ranked Lady Raiders ahead 16-9.
“It’s all about knowing our craft,” said Byrd. “If we see them getting up, we know we’ve got to stop them. If we make a mistake, we just pick it up by two.”
A 10-0 run late in the second period gave them a 29-13 lead and they led 31-15 at the break. A 12-3 stretch in the third pushed the lead past 20.
Meanwhile, No. 7 Fayette (21-7) found little advantage playing at home, particularly in the first half, when the Region 5-AAAA champions scored just four field goals and went one stretch of more than nine minutes without a field goal.
“We knew they have some players that can really shoot the basketball,” said Redan coach Jerry Jackson. “One or two 3-pointers, and then it’s a game. We just wanted to keep the pressure on.”
Redan’s biggest lead came in the final minute at 70-38.
Keyondra Jenkins scored 15 for Fayette County, 12 of them coming in the second half.