Grandview Prep captures girls state basketball championship

The Pride have a lot to be proud of after Wednesday night.

Grandview Prep won the Class 2A girls basketball state championship at the Lakeland Center, holding off Ormond Beach-Calvary Christian 37-34 for the program’s second state title. The Pride won their first in 2014.

“It feels amazing,” senior guard Sarah Radebaugh said. “One of the best feelings in the world.”

On a night where offense was at a premium, the Pride had to turn to different sources of points. Leading scorer Megan Rampersad, who entered Wednesday averaging more than 18 points per game, was cold from the field, making only 1 of 16 shots and finishing with six points.

“We’re a team that’s guard-oriented,” Grandview coach Ian Clarke said. “If Megan is off, I’ve got four other girls that can do the job.”

Both teams had trouble shooting the ball. Grandview finished the game 12 of 49 from the field, while Calvary Christian finished just 10 of 54.

“In a game like this, the collar gets tight and we start missing shots,” Clarke said.

Grandview did excel on the boards, though. The Pride picked up 48 rebounds; Scarlett Anosier led the way with 15, while Danielle Montelbano had 11.

“Like I told them over and over: It’s not about offense that’s going to win you a state championship,” Clarke said. “It’s going to be about defense. And I thought we played good defense in the second half.”

As both teams struggled on offense, neither could pull away. The Pride had the largest lead of the game after going up 8-1 to open the game, and the Lions never had a lead larger than five points. Mariah Perez led Calvary Christian with 15 points.

Radebaugh, who led Grandview with nine points, erased Calvary Christian’s last lead of the night, hitting a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to even the score at 33.

The Pride held a 36-34 lead in the game’s final moments, and junior guard Alexis Romer iced the game with a free throw for the game’s final point.

“It was a lot of pressure, and everyone was watching,” Romer said. “But I had confidence from all the practice we had and all the foul shots we’ve done, that I knew I was going to at least make one of them.”

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