The most disastrous possession of Edison’s night came late in the first quarter during Thursday’s 5A North region semifinal against Freedom-South Riding, when the team missed five point-blank shots in the lane. Before a sixth could be attempted after another offensive rebound, the ball was kicked out to the three-point line, where junior guard Lindsey Krisak was waiting. The sharpshooter nailed the three and was fouled, and after she completed the four-point play, Edison seemed like a different team.
“That was so exciting,” said guard Jada Graves. “That got us so hyped.”
Graves finished with 12 points, Tatianna Torres added 16 and 11 other Edison players got into the scoring column as the No. 5 Eagles cruised to a 76-37 over Freedom South-Riding, also nicknamed the Eagles, in Alexandria.
Edison (24-3) won its 13th straight game and set up a showdown in the 5A North final against Mount Vernon (22-5) Saturday, which will mark the fourth time the two teams have met this season. Edison won all three meetings against the Majors earlier this season.
Edison entered Thursday night’s game having won its past seven games by an average margin of 35.2 points, while Freedom-South Riding (20-6) had won three games by a combined 15 points in an exhausting week just to reach the game — and posed no threat to Edison’s up-tempo style from the opening tip.
Graves scored eight points in the first quarter, and Edison converted five fast-break layups in the frame to jump out to a 22-6 lead, then made it 44-12 by halftime thanks to a vicious press that allowed just four made field goals by Freedom-South Riding in the first half. Torres opened the second half with three consecutive made jump shots, and Edison scored on its first six possessions of the half to extend the lead to 40.
“We’re looking at the big picture,” Graves said. “We don’t really pay attention to the score, whether we win by 30 or its a close game, because Coach [Dianne] Lewis pays attention to the little details that makes us win by 30.”
One of those details is using the press as the primary offensive weapon, and the team is rarely seen out of it. The depth of Edison is considerable — Lewis platooned 10 players back and forth Thursday night — so the team doesn’t tire running all game. And the 5-foot-9 Graves is used at the top of the zone, where her long arms can disrupt passing lanes.
“This year for us, it’s been all about our press. Our press just gets everybody amped up, and it allows everyone on the court to get involved,” Lewis said. “We have our eye on the prize.”