2A: FAMU Defeats Grandview Prep for 2A Title
Forget offense. Tallahassee FAMU rode its pressure defense to its third Class 2A girls basketball state championship in four years Thursday.
The Baby Rattlers (27-2) forced 36 turnovers by Boca Raton Grandview Prep in defeating the defending Class 2A state champion Pride, 75-45, at The Lakeland Center.
It is FAMU’s fourth state title overall and the first for first-year head coach Ericka Cromartie, who played in the state tournament for FAMU in 1999 and 2001.
“I’m very familiar with the program having played here,” Cromartie said. “When we started in September, I told them the team I played on, I knew this team was better and if we stick together and play hard, we will win state. They did and they deserved it.”
FAMU, which won state titles in 2012 and 2013, scored 29 points off of those turnovers and used its defense to keep the Pride from getting its offense going.
“We always said if we play defense, we’ll win the game,” Cromartie said. “Our assistant coach, James Brown, had an excellent scheme (on defense) and we knew if we came out and executed, we’d win the game.”
The Baby Rattlers also had a big edge in rebounding, pulling down 56 total rebounds and 30 offensive rebounds. They scored 26 second-chance points.
“They definitely turned us over more than we wanted and the capitalized on crashing the boards,” said Grandview Prep coach Gary Downing II. “They did a good job rebounding the ball.”
Raygene Garner, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds for FAMU, scored most of her points on offensive rebounds.