GREENVILLE — For a seventh straight school year…Newberry High School is sending at least one team to a state championship game.
The Lady Bulldogs not only defended their 3A upper-state championship Saturday afternoon at the Bon Secours Wellness Center in Greenville…but they would never trail in their 67-58 victory over Seneca. Newberry was also victorious over Seneca last year in the upper state championship game.
After scoring 19 points in last week’s quarterfinal win, Newberry’s all-state selectee Rayanna Davis was one of four Newberry High School students involved in a one-car wreck Tuesday morning.
While her sister, Diamond, only sustained bumps and bruises, Davis was transported to a Columbia area hospital with injuries to her ribs and lungs.
The remainder of Davis’ teammates and coaches decided to dedicate their semi-final game to her. This called for one their hardest weeks of practice, as well as nearly daily chats with her in person or by social media.
As the Lady Bulldogs were in the stands watching a game preceding theirs Saturday afternoon…the entire Seneca team came over to Diamond Davis to present her with an autographed Seneca jersey with the same number on it as Rayanna wears for Newberry…15.
Placing a cardboard cut-out at the end of their bench with not only Rayanna Davis’ jersey on it, but also pictures of her through the season. While the Newberry players would see the cut-out as they came off of the court…other players were keeping Davis posted of the game via live video chats, as well as when the team received a police escort through town that evening.
Zacharia Epps and Kelsey Felks combined to score all of Newberry’s first quarter points of 14…while the Lady Bobcats were held to 10.
Seneca went behind the three-point arc three times in the second quarter…compared to only one basket from the same area of real estate for Newberry…but Newberry had increased its lead to seven points at the break, 29-22.
While no more than three Newberry players scored in the first, second and fourth quarters…five Lady Bulldogs contributed at least two points apiece as Newberry went into the fourth quarter with a 50-30 advantage.
Going up against a defense that was told “not to foul,” Seneca won the fourth-quarter field-shot category, 13-to-four over Newberry.
The 22-3 Lady Bulldogs were led by the 29 points of Epps, while Felks contributed 15 points.
Meanwhile, Reghan Miller scored all of her 11 points in the second half, while the Newberry scoring ended with the seven points of Lindsey Ruff, and the five points of Diamond Davis.
Newberry will face-off against the 3A Lower-state champion, Ridgeland-Hardeeville, this Saturday afternoon around 2:00 p.m. in the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia