Rodgers is MVP but Lady Braves claim title

Published 11:43 pm Friday, February 20, 2009

Charged by a 14-0 run to open the game, Indian River finished an undefeated season through the Southeastern District with a 58-43 win over host King’s Fork on Friday in the final of the district’s girls basketball tournament.

King’s Fork’s TaShauna Rodgers added one more bit of history to her All-American high school career by becoming the Southeastern District’s all-time top scorer for a single tournament. Rodgers, with 27 points and 16 rebounds on Friday, averaged 36.7 points in the three-game tournament, and even though not on the title-winning team, was voted tournament MVP to go side-by-side with her regular season district MVP award.

The Lady Braves, led by dominant play in the paint by senior power forward Keiara Avant and mid-range shooting from sophomore Kiera Dunnington, stormed out to a 14-0 lead before Rodgers put KF on the board at the 2:34 mark of the first period. Avant and Dunnington had six points each as IR led 18-7 at the end of one period.

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Avant scored the first six points of the second period and IR led 34-15 before KF’s only semblance of a run in the first half.

An Indian River technical foul for six players on the court gave KF a five-point possession with two Rodgers free throws and a three-pointer by Tamara Stone.

IR finished the last minute of the half with the last three points of the half to hold a 37-20 halftime lead.

The Lady Braves, playing at a methodical pace the rest of the way, won the third period 12-6.

Rodgers poured in 14 points in the fourth period, including three-pointers ranging to 28 feet in an attempt to cut into IR’s lead. A 14-point Indian River margin with just under two minutes remaining was as close as KF got.

In the second half, Rodgers made up all but two of King’s Fork’s field goals and all but four of KF’s rebounds. IR finished with a 45-29 edge on the boards.

Avant finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Shanel Williams added a huge all-around game with 17 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.

For King’s Fork, Stone finished with 10 points, including three three-pointers.

King’s Fork (17-7) will get to be on its home floor for the first round of the Eastern Region Tournament on Monday evening. The Lady Bulldogs will host Wilson at 6 p.m. In the second game of the doubleheader, KF’s boys team will host Churchland.