State Fair went on a run midway through the second half to beat No. 25 Three Rivers 81-62 on Saturday at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center.
State Fair put together the run with Three Rivers playing without its best player. Sophomore post player Anna Vogt hit a pair of free throws to put Three Rivers ahead with 16:55 to play but moments later she picked up her third foul and spent the next four minutes on the bench. With Vogt out of the game, State Fair was able to attack the rim with Adella Randle-El hitting a floater in the lane, Sydonia Daniels hitting a basket in the paint, which became a 3-point play, and Randle-El converting an Erin Boothe steal into a layup at the other end.
“We wanted to highlight her,” said State Fair coach Kevin Bucher. “We know what a great player she is. We tried to recruit her. But we have four kids who can attack her inside. Just like we did against Wabash, once we got her out, we put two bigs in (Sydonia Johnson and Alecia Cooley) and it was hard for them to really stop those bigs down low.”
Once Vogt returned with 12:33 left in the game, Three Rivers got a 3-pointer from Danielle Farmer, but State Fair forced turnovers on the next three possessions and turned them into a Boothe layup, free throws by Randle-El and a layup by Cooley.
“We’re a transition team,” Daniels said. “We like to run, that’s our goal, to run the ball, push the ball. It worked out.”
For the game, State Fair outscored Three Rivers 28-11 in points off turnovers. State Fair also hit 6 of 16 from 3-point range.
“They played zone so the 3-pointer was always open,” said sophomore guard Antionette Taylor. “We stepped up and hit the three.”
Taylor scored 24 points, often attacking the rim on drives.
“She’s a great player too,” Bucher said. “Crafty and she’s one of the top players in the region. She comes every day playing hard. We could tell her shooting, she’s been on fire, but she does a lot of other things. She wants to win and she brings everybody’s level up.”
After the teams traded baskets and the lead to open the game, State Fair went on an 18-4 run to take a 26-13 lead. On defense Taylor grabbed a pair of steals, Derriel Banyard had a steal and Randle-El stood in to take a charge. On offense Mary Sims hit a pair of 3-pointers but the rest of the points in the run came from Taylor who hit a basket in the paint, a pair of layups, one of which became a 3-point play, then capped off the run with a 3-pointer.
“I drive and kick just to get her open,” Randle-El said. “Keep the ball moving and get everyone else involved as well.”
Three Rivers closed the first half with a 12-5 run. Cassie Roberts hit a 3-pointer and Erin Bollman and Vogt followed that with baskets before Bollman closed the half with a 3-pointer to make it 30-25. Early in the second half, Vogt hit three quick baskets inside as the only State Fair offense came from a Sims putback.
“You know that they’re not going to give up,” Bucher said. “Three Rivers never does.”
But soon Vogt was out of the game and State Fair was able to pull away.