Nazareth won the girls CHSAA Class AA State title for the second straight year as it defeated Moore Catholic, 68-46, on Saturday night at Christ the King. The Lady Kingsmen advance to the State Federation tournament in two weeks in Albany.
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Nazareth (18-3) made life difficult for Moore Catholic offensively as it swarmed the ball handler in the half-court set. Moore Catholic, which thrives on the 3-point shot, struggled to find uncontested looks. With plenty of Division I players on its roster, Nazareth was able to score at a consistent rate.
TURNING POINT: There were two critical runs in the game.
Moore Catholic (22-6) led 19-15 in the second quarter but Nazareth went on an 11-0 run to take a 26-21 lead that eventually was up to 30-21 at the half. Sophomore guard Bianca Cuevas scored seven of her team's final 15 points in the half, as part of her 13-point effort in the first half.
In the second half, Moore Catholic cut the lead to 40-34 but Nazareth responded with a 20-0 run to seal the game. In the fourth quarter , Nazareth had a 15-0 run to start the quarter and Moore did not score its first points until there was 4:12 left in the game.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Sadie Edwards had a fantastic game, scoring 19 points to lead the Lady Kingsmen. She came on particularly strong in the fourth quarter, scoring nine points as part of a 20-0 run by Nazareth that all but ended the game as it made it 60-34 with a little more than four minutes remaining.
FOR APACHE: In January, Nazareth head coach Apache Paschall died, which shook up the team and led to a scheduling controversy with Bishop Ford and Christ hte King. The team dedicated its season to their coach and they honored him on Saturday with another State title.
LAST GAME: Nazareth announced earlier this year that it was going to be closing its doors. If this is the last season for the Lady Kingsmen, they are certainly sending the school out with some hardware. The Nazareth boys team also won the Class B State title earlier on Saturday.
UP NEXT: Nazareth will head to Albany looking to repeat as the State Federation champion while Moore Catholic's season is over.