SA girls advance in playoffs

Published 8:38 am Wednesday, March 3, 2010

COURTLAND—Despite Southampton Academy’s sluggish start, it was just a matter of time Tuesday night before the Lady Raiders dominated StoneBridge School in the first round of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III state playoffs.

Southampton Academy, fresh off a Virginia Commonwealth Conference tournament championship, scored the last six points of the first quarter and outscored the Lady Cavaliers 17-5 in the second quarter en route to a 45-13 victory.

SA, seeded fifth in the state, will face fourth-seeded Broadwater Academy on the road at 5:30 p.m. today. The winner will advance to the state semifinals Friday at Benedictine High School in Richmond.

StoneBridge scored the first four points of the contest, but the Lady Cavaliers’ spread offense and 3-point game sputtered under the SA half-court defense — and later a full-court press.

Out of synch early in the game, the SA offense in the first half was led by Gabby Gatten, who poured in 10 of her game-high 17 points in the first half, including six from the foul line.

Things got worse for StoneBridge in the second half. The Lady Cavaliers (9-15) scored just one point in the third quarter and just one basket in the entire second half. The StoneBridge bucket came with 1:51 to play in the fourth quarter against the Lady Raiders’ second string.

SA head coach Burdette Gatten said his team’s slow start was because they did not know much about StoneBridge.

“We didn’t have any idea what kind of team they were. We had no film on them and no history,” Gatten said. “We didn’t know what to expect. It took us awhile to feel them out and see what they were doing.”

The press gave the Lady Cavaliers trouble as the visitors scored just five baskets the entire game.

“I knew they had trouble with the press based on some of their scores early in the season. They lost by some big numbers,” he said. “We had a good defensive effort. We have been playing man. They tried to spread the floor and we were able to pick up the open man.”

For SA, Lindsay Raulston scored 14 points and Michelle Lewis added 8 points.

Broadwater is next up for the Lady Raiders, 19-4.

“I have seen them play,” Gatten said. “They look like us. They have the same type of lineup and the same type of players. They have two real strong scorers. They have a scrappy team. They press and play a hard man-to-man. We have to play them on the road. We have never seen their gym. It’s a long drive and I hope tonight didn’t take too much out of our girls.”