Treneisha “NiNi” Adams scored 18 points, Breana Griffin added 15 and the Rome Lady Wolves pulled away in the third quarter to ultimately top the Dacula Lady Falcons 68-42. The victory marks Rome’s first playoff basketball win in Class AAAAAA and the Lady Wolves advance to the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive year.
“We’re just continuing to learn and grow,” Lady Wolves head coach Jason Harris said. “It’s part of the process and it’s what we’ve continued to preach. Continue to grow and get 1% better every day. We wanted to finally host a home-court game for our fans and for our seniors so we accomplished that.”
A back-and-forth first half saw Rome takes a slight lead into the locker room at 34-29. But a different-looking Lady Wolves team took the floor for the third quarter, outscoring Dacula 24-4 in the eight-minute frame.
“(Our) defensive intensity (changed),” Harris said. “Boxing out, taking care of the boards, what we preach every day.”
Rome (22-7) opened up the quarter on an 8-0 run and never glanced in the rear-view mirror. When Dacula’s size became an issue for Rome, the ball shifted more beyond the perimeter, as the Lady Wolves knocked down 10 shots from downtown.
“I thought we played efficient,” Harris said on his team’s offense. “When we had to run some set pieces, we did well executing our offense. And then, in our motion offense, we played really well and free out of it so that’s how we try to play.”
Rome’s Ta’Emmica “Pinky” Nation scored nine and Taleyiah Chatman notched eight points.
For Dacula (13-14), LaZaria Spearman led the Lady Falcons with 12 points. Haneefat Adanijo was second on the team with 10.
The Lady Wolves now prepare to embark on the road and journey to Woodstock to battle Region 7-AAAAAA’s No. 1 seed River Ridge Lady Knights Friday at 6 p.m. River Ridge is 25-3 overall.
“I’m going to expect a hostile environment, a very fundamental team and a dogfight,” Harris said on the upcoming challenge. “We’ve got to defend and make sure we take care of the offensive glass.”