Dick’s National Championship Preview: Riverdale Baptist (MD) vs Ribault (FL)

9D4/1/2016 11:00AM -- Middle Village, NY, U.S.A -- A general view of game action between St. Francis and Riverdale Baptist during the second half during Dick's Sporting Goods High School Basketball Nationals at Christ the King Regional high school. Riverside Baptist defeated St. Francis 57-50. -- Photo by Andy Marlin USA TODAY Sports Images, Gannett ORG XMIT: US 134676 Dick's basketbal 4/1/2016 [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

Photo Courtesy: www.usatodayhss.com

Four of the top teams in the nation entered the 2016 Dick’s National Tournament with the goal to play at Madison Square Garden for the national title. With the semifinals over, Riverdale Baptist and Ribault are the two teams left standing. Both teams have worked all year to get to this point. The players on each team will lay everything on the line in what might be the biggest game of their career. Here is a quick preview of Saturday’s game.

Game Time: 10:00 am

Location: Madison Square Garden (NY)

Riverdale Baptist (MD)

Record: 36-3, #5 team in the nation according to USA Today, #2 in Maryland according to the Washington Post.

How They Got Here

The Crusaders opened the Dick’s National Tournament by beating St. Francis (GA) 57-50. Riverdale Baptist was down for the most part of the game. They went into halftime trailing 29-22. The Crusaders managed to claw their way back into the game by outscoring St. Francis 35-21 in the second half. During the final minutes of the game, senior guard Kaila Charles made a tough jump shot and lay up to carry her team to  victory.

Riverdale Baptist recorded 18 steals and forced St. Francis to commit 28 turnovers. St. Francis didn’t shoot well from the three-point line as they were 3-14 (21.4%). The girls from Prince George’s County only shot 35 percent from the field and from the free throw line.

Player to Watch

Kaila Charles

Maryland signee Kaila Charles in one of the top girl basketball players in Maryland and in the country. The McDonald’s All-American is rated as the No. 25 player in the country by ESPN. In her first season with Riverdale after playing for Eleanor Roosevelt, Charles led the team in scoring with 20.1 points per game. In the game against St. Francis (GA), she netted in 17 points and collected four rebounds. Charles scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half.

Ribault (FL)

Record: 28-1, #12 team in the nation according to USA Today.

How They Got Here

In the semifinals of the Dick’s National Tournament, Ribault defeated No. 10 Seton Catholic (AZ.) 49-41. The Trojans were down 15-10 at the end of the first quarter but a strong second and fourth quarter carried them to the win. Seton Catholic had a tough day shooting the basketball. The Sentinels were 20 percent from behind the arc and 27.5 percent from the field. Ribault’s bench outscored Seton Catholic bench 17-0.

Player to Watch

Rennia Davis

Junior forward Rennia Davis was a big part in the Trojans win over Seton Catholic. Davis recorded 20 points (8-15 FG), 13 rebounds, and one steal. Rennia in solid scorer in the paint and can finish in traffic. She was named to the FABC 1st-Team 4A All-State in 2014, and 2015.

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About the Author

Ryan McFadden, @RMcFadden15

Founder of Inside The Locker Room and Sports Editor for the Ionian. I write about the Washington Nationals for Federal Baseball. Iona College class of 2019 and proud DeMatha alum. Follow me on Twitter @RMcFadden15.

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