The fourth time – a charm for Lady Raiders; another in the Final Four – Washington Daily News

Christian Academy Pungo Lady Raiders chose the right time to avenge three defeats in the regular season by winning the Lawrence Academy on Friday night 39-38 in the third round of the NCISAA 1A state basketball playoffs.

The PCA (18-6) trailed 20-9 at the break, then trailed by 15 before coming together with a deficit of eight points after three quarters.

Playing Raider Abby Cutler got into trouble, the Warriors fell behind with a score of 13 in less than six minutes.

At this point, she was back on the court and was at the center of the Raiders press on the full court, forcing a few turns to reduce the deficit to seven three minutes before the end.

Conference player of the year Reagan Stup scored a three-pointer and Cutler nailed the swimmer to the lane to be two less than two minutes behind.

Cutler fouled on the next possession, but the Raiders were still twice less than 30 seconds behind.

After the time-out, second-year Raider guard Ginny Pew spent on the perimeter to score the ball in Stup when she realized no one was guarding her. She drove up for three as both crowds fell silent as the ball flew through the air. Faithful Raider erupted when her kick found the bottom of the net and led 39-38 20 seconds before the game.

The Warriors conceded a timeout with less than 20 ticks left, but missed the potential winner by five seconds.

The Warriors held the lead for 31 minutes and 40 seconds, but Pew’s decisive trio made a difference. Stup leads the PCA with 18 points, Pew added seven and Kaylee Kitsch added five.

Pung returns to the NCISAA Final Four for the second season in a row after losing three key seniors from last year’s team and has won 16 of the last 18 games with a single loss from Lawrence. This is the first time in the history of basketball for PCA girls when they performed in the Final Four in a row.

In the semifinals, “Raiders” will meet the winner of №1 Grace Christian from Sanford / Northeast Academy. Pung is expecting a trip to Sanford, as the Crusaders are 26-1 and they are the № 8 team (public or private) in the state, according to MaxPreps.

The Crusaders have a sophomore from ESPN № 5 in Sarah Strong. The 6’2 “forward is leading his team in every statistical category, averaging 25 points and 17.6 rebounds per game and has 45 points and 40 rebounds.

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