Marquita Daniels made four 3-pointers during a game-opening 18-2 run as Southwest Atlanta Christian rolled to a 78-43 victory over Holy Innocents’ in the Class A-Private girls basketball semifinals Friday at Kennesaw State.
The victory puts top-ranked Southwest Atlanta Christian (28-3) in the championship game against Region 6-A rival St. Francis at 11 a.m. on March 9 at the Macon Centreplex. Southwest Atlanta Christian will be making its second consecutive and third overall appearance in the championship game. The Warriors won the Class A title in 2006 and lost to Wesleyan in last year’s final.
Daniels scored her team’s first 12 points, all on 3-pointers, as Southwest Atlanta Christian jumped out to a 12-2 lead with 3:58 to play in the first quarter. The lead was 20-6 at the end of the quarter, and Holy Innocents’ got no closer the rest of the way.
Daniels finished with a game-high 19 points, another strong performance in her hot postseason. She is scoring 12.3 points per game for the season but is averaging 18.5 in six playoff games.
“She’s pretty much been on fire for the whole season, if you ask me,” SACA coach Jackie Cowan said. “She’s been very consistent. I think she’s probably our most consistent player, if I had to look at the entire season. We’ve had some players that have had ups and downs, kind of go into some lulls and then come back. But Marquita has been our rock, and she showed it tonight.”
Daniels cooled off after her 4-for-6 start, making only one of her final seven 3-point attempts. But she had plenty of help keeping Holy Innocents’ at bay. Alexis Carter scored 14 of her 16 points in the final three quarters, Amy Griffin scored 10 of her 12 in the second half, and Lleah Jones made four 3-pointers to finish with 12 points.
Erika Cassell led fourth-ranked Holy Innocents’ (24-6) with nine points.
The championship game will be the third meeting of the year between the Fulton County schools. SACA won the regular-season meeting 59-45 on Jan. 26, and St. Francis won 54-49 on Feb. 16 in the region tournament final.
“St. Francis is going to be a fun game,” Cowan said. “There’s a little history there. They’re a good team, but we’re looking forward to it. Honestly, it’s what the championship game should be.”
Holy Innocents’ (43): Chelsea Zoller 4, McKenzie Bolden 5, Erika Cassell 9, Lexii Cassell 6, Reshaundra Owens 3, Sydney Long 3, Bailey McBride 6, Mary Hollis Schmidt 5, Aaliyah Milord 2, Rachel Morton, Mary Catherine Thomson, Emma Rolander, Mary Wade Ballou, Ciel Rodriguez.
Southwest Atlanta Christian (78): Marquita Daniels 19, Alexis Carter 16, Amy Griffin 12, Amber Brown 9, Lleah Jones 12, Keimeshia Walker 7, Tori Dozier 3, Kristin Carter, Mia Anthony, Amber Perkins, Kendall James, Kelsey James.