R-MA girls claim DAC tourney championship
WARRENTON – Randolph-Macon Academy girls’ basketball coach Jeff Moxie says every game his Yellow Jackets play, the two goals are to average double figures per period while holding the opponent in single digits.
Mission accomplished, Saturday afternoon at Highland School, where Moxie’s Jackets captured their first Delaney Athletic Conference Division II tournament championship in at least seven years.
“I started here as an assistant in 2009-10, and that year we won the (DAC) tournament,” Moxie said.
In three of the last four years, the Yellow Jackets have won the regular season title but failed to haul in the first-place hardware in the conference tournament.
All that changed before a good crowd as the Yellow Jackets posted a 55-25 victory over Quantico High School in the DAC finals. It was their third straight victory over the Warriors this year.
“It feels amazing,” said Randolph-Macon Academy senior Lily Ruch. “We’ve worked for it and, after last year’s title game (against St. Michael) was so intense, we wanted this one for sure.”
“It’s amazing and we deserve it,” added R-MA freshman Princess Uzoma.
Uzoma’s first career double-double (15 points, 14 rebounds), Ruch’s eight rebounds and junior Reagan Grove’s 10 tallies led the Yellow Jackets (18-2), who will now advance into Tuesday’s Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association tourney.
Tipoff time and opponent are yet to be determined. Moxie explained that the Yellow Jackets’ exemplary season (Saturday’s was their ninth straight win) would have gotten them into the state event anyway, “but the win is nice to get in the tournament championship game,” said Moxie.
While Uzoma, Ruch and Grove helped lead the way, it was on defense that the Yellow Jackets showed their mettle. After allowing about 23 points per opponent during their first 19 games-compared to their own per-game tally of 44-Randolph-Macon held Quantico to just 11 baskets. The Jackets kept the Warriors in single digits in each quarter.
“We hang our hat on defense. That’s us,” said Moxie. “We figure if we can score about 40 points a game, the key is to hold the other team to single digits in each quarter. That’s what we did today.”
R-MA forced 12 turnovers and scored seven straight points in the first quarter for a 12-5 lead.
Though Quantico kept the Randolph-Macon lead to 9 points on three different occasions in the first half, the Yellow Jackets closed out the second quarter with a 27-11 lead. It was 39-18 after three quarters and then Moxie and Quantico coach Paul Roy began emptying their benches.
Randolph-Macon held Quantico to the 5-spot in the first period. It allowed the Warriors 6 tallies in the second quarter; 7 in the third and 7 in the fourth.
Meantime, the Yellow Jackets had their dozen in the first period, 10 in quarter two; 17 in the third period and 16 in the final frame.
Uzoma added six steals to go with Ruch’s three thefts.
Rebounding-wise, R-MA held a decided 43-13 edge. Liana Trupiano, who scored 9 points including a pair of 3-point shots, and teammate Julia Norton each had four boards for the Yellow Jackets. Reserve Taylor Wreath picked off seven caroms.
Kathryn Kelley led Quantico with 11 points. Afterward, she was selected as the Delaney Conference’s player of the year.
Also, R-MA senior Norton and sophomore Trupiano were selected on the all-conference first team, while junior Kimmie Pitts, Ruch and Uzoma were named second team all-conference.
Contact Jim Laise at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yellow Jackets 55, Warriors 25
Randolph-Macon (18-2)-Grove 5 0-0 10, Trupiano 3 1-2 9, Ruch 2 0-0 4, Potts 1 0-0 2, Norton 2 0-0 4, Walker 3 0-0 6, Fields 1 0-0 3, Waddell 2, Uzoma 6 2-4 15, Wreath 0 0-0 0, Totals 25 3-6 55
Quantico-Masini 1 0-0 3, Boyd 1 0-0 2, Katherine Kelley 5 0-0 11, Lee 1 0-0 2, Magdaleno 2 0-0 4, Kaitlyn Kelley 1 0-0 3, Agila 0 0-0 0, Totals 11 0-0 25
3-point shots: R-MA 3 (Trupiano 2, Fields 1), Quantico 2 (Masini 1, K. Kelley 1)