Wave Wins vs. Christians, Game Away From Final 4
Written By: Jerome Reed
One. More. Game.
The three words fluttering through the minds of the home crowd who watched our Lady Wave basketball squad beat Jacksonville-University Christian 55-39 in the FHSAA Class 4A Regional Semifinals on Thursday.
But, it wasn’t easy.
The game started slow for both teams. The score was all zeros until Christians guard Jodi Wright hit a layup at the five-minute mark. From there, the Christians went on a 7-0 run to crash the Wave, for a bit.
Sophomore Julie Teasley ended the six-minute drought with a layup of her own, but after the first quarter, the Wave trailed 15-6.
While the U.C. crowd started to surge, P.K. started to tap into their sense of urgency.
“We did not want this to be our last game as a team,” said Wave senior guard Kailya Jackson, who notched 10 points on her 18th birthday. “We were thinking, ‘this is not it. We’re not going be the first team to lose in this round.’”
The second quarter is where P.K. started to see shots fall.
Freshman guard Jaden Robinson scored a nifty bucket, early. The entire team played scrappy defense and forced turnovers. Eight grader Mya McGraw scored a put-back, which sent assistant coach Kent Johnson leaping off the bleachers in joy.
The Wave tied it up less than three minutes into the second quarter. Although, the Christians followed up with a 7-0 run of their own. Wave junior guard Jasmine Spencer launched a deep three to cut the U.C. lead to two at the half.
Quarter three was back and forth, though the Wave was able to go into the fourth leading by two. Their post-play was key in pulling away with the win.
The 6’2” McGraw and 6’1” sophomore Raquel Cassidy combined for 23 points. Cassidy tallied 10 of her 12 points in the fourth quarter. The Christians couldn’t do anything in the paint against those two.
“We were just trying to work the high-low. If I was up by the free-throw line, I would just dish it out to Mya or we would just get each other’s rebounds and put-backs,” Cassidy said of her and McGraw’s scheme for scoring.
Cassidy and Jackson said “intensity” and “execution” will be the two things necessary to beat Jacksonville-Providence in their gym on Valentine’s Day. The Wave lost a close game against Providence at home by six points on January 13.
But, Jackson made the steps for a revenge-game win, and the recipe for a trip to Lakeland, sound very simple.
“We got to execute. We have to do what we’re told,” she smiled. “We have to work as a team.”
Julie Teasley: 6 points
Jasmine Spencer: 4 points
Kailya Jackson: 10 points
Alisha Clayton: 2 points
Jada Teasley: 3 points
Jaden Robinson: 2 points
Lauren Moore: 3 points
Mya McGraw: 11 points
Raquel Cassidy: 12 points