Lady Cavs outdone by Freedom
East Rutherford bolted into the SMAC Tournament championship Friday night behind a 45-point clinic from Rachel Camp against R-S Central Thursday night, but the Lady Cavs just didn’t have enough to down the top-seeded Freedom Lady Patriots Friday night at Shelby High as they fell victim to a 48-39 loss.
“We played three games this week and we ended up against a really good Freedom team,” East head coach Larry Ross said after the game. “They’re quick and we just didn’t knock down shots.”
It took just 32 seconds for Camp to commit her first foul.
Ross called an isolation play for Camp, but she was called for a charge on her way to the rim.
The Lady Cavs rallied from there and Camp reached the 2,000-point milestone with a deep 3 from the left wing that sent East up 9-2.
The first quarter ended with East holding a 9-5 advantage.
Freedom found a better offensive rhythm in the second while the Cavs struggled.
Despite the poor offensive performance, East maintained a 16-15 edge going into halftime.
Freedom’s Imani Williams opened the third quarter with five straight points to swing the one-point East lead into a four-point Freedom advantage at 20-16.
By the two-minute mark in the third, the Freedom lead grew to 30-23.
Freedom outscored the Cavs 19-7 in the third quarter and took a 34-23 lead into the final quarter.
It looked like it about to get out of hand early in the fourth, but a 5-0 run by East Rutherford – capped by a Camp 3 – cut the Freedom lead to 38-31 with 4:50 remaining in the game.
Camp nailed another 3 to cut the lead to just six with 3:50 left, but the Patriots continued to find the bottom of the net.
A Camp free throw cut the lead to five, but again, The Patriots continued to find easy points under the basket.
The lady Patriots milked the clock in the final minutes and claimed the tournament title with the 48-39 win.
Camp led the Cavs with 22 points.
East awaits their first –round opponent set to be announced today.
“Monday we’ll go up against someone that isn’t familiar with us,” Ross said. “We’ve played some really good teams this year and I think we can play with anybody.”