By Drake Skleba
For the Enterprise 

Richardson, Perkins pace Lady Raider fourth quarter explosion, stun L-W East in SWSC Blue opener


Last updated 1/10/2020 at 12:43am

With 7:05 remaining in their ultra-tough SouthWest Suburban Blue conference-opener, Bolingbrook (13-5, 1-0) and the guests from Lincoln-Way East were deadlocked at 35-35.

A little more than five minutes later, led by 6-foot junior De'Ahna Richardson (12 points,10 rebounds,two blocks, steal, assist) and the 5-foot-4 super sophomore Kennedi Perkins (16 points, three steals, two assists), the Lady Raiders led 47-35 with 1:58 left. The 12-0 Lady Raider knock-out run led to their impressive, 54-39 SWSC Blue victory Thursday night.

Missing in action was the Lady Raiders' junior All-Stater Treasure Thompson, who was struck down by bronchitis, making the victory over the tough Griffins (10-4, 0-1) even more impressive.

With 6:30 left, Richardson scored inside to put the Lady Raiders up 37-35. Two Perkins free-throws extended their lead to 39-35 with 5:48 left. With 5:16 left, Richardson struck again and was fouled and went to the line for the-three-point play. She missed.

Senior Jayden Marable (eight points, three steals) scored on a pass from Perkins for a 43-35 Raider lead. Richardson would steal a Griffin pass and feed sophomore Amanda Fry for two and a 45-35 lead with 4:29 left.

The 12-0 Lady Raider run took more than two and a half minutes to complete.

Richardson hauled down her 10th rebound for her third double-double of the season. Perkins completed the Lady Raider explosion with her 15th and 16th points of the night, for a 47-35 Lady Raider lead with 1:43 left.

"We have really been having unsuccessful second halves in our games this season," Bolingbrook coach Chris Smith said. "We have been playing very well in the first half but haven't put teams away in the second half. Tonight was very encouraging for me to see the way we finished off a very good Lincoln-Way East team with our fourth-quarter run."

Lincoln-Way East looked as if it was going to blow the Lady Raiders out of their own gym, opening up a 9-0 lead three minutes into the game.

Perkins to the rescue.

Perkins went on a personal 5-0 run to pull the Lady Raiders within 9-5 and Lincoln-Way East would hold an 11-7 lead after one quarter.

"I play very hard on defense and by doing so, my offense will come from my defense," Perkins said. "Our game-winning run tonight was triggered by our great defense."

With 6:16 remaining in the first half, Richardson completed the old-fashioned three-point-play to give the Lady Raiders their first lead of the night at 12-11. Off the bench, a long-range three-point bomb from senior Alesia Boyd gave the Raiders a 23-16 lead with 1:58 remaining in the half. The Griffins would rally to within 23-20 at halftime.

"With the game tied at 35-35, we knew we had to step it up to get the win," Richardson said. "We communicated better and trusted in ourselves. We played great defense and came away with the victory. Personally, I knew I had to step it up tonight. I was able to get a number of rebounds and I was very happy that I was very successful scoring inside."

"We had a up and down game without Treasure out there for us," Smith added. "All the girls really stepped up for us tonight and De'Ahna and Kennedi, were outstanding for us down the stretch and provided us with the energy to roll to this big win.

"We are hoping to get Treasure back soon from the bronchitis, which will give us the continuity on the court, for us to be successful."

Thursday night's victory, was the fifth consecutive for the rampaging Raiders. Up next is a January 14 SWSC Crossover game at Bradley-Bourbonnais (4-11).


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