Bullis girls’ basketball Coach Rod Hairston had Georgetown Visitation right where he wanted at the end of the third quarter in Sunday’s Independent School League AA championship game, but that didn’t stop him from booming a message to his team that could be heard in every corner of the Sidwell Friends gym.
“Our intensity level is lowering!” Hairston yelled, with his star player Lynee Belton staring straight at him. She got the point and found her second wind.
Belton scored 10 of her 22 points in the final quarter and Brittany Jackson added 17 as Bullis cruised to 60-39 win over Georgetown Visitation to claim the league title.
“I think we finally got the respect that we deserved as a school and in the ISL,” Belton said, “and hopefully outside of the ISL.”
Belton asserted her presence from the onset Sunday, dominating the glass and scoring eight points in the first eight minutes to give the Bulldogs (21-5) a 17-9 first-quarter lead, a deficit from which the Cubs (21-8) couldn’t recover. Jackson hit three three-pointers and disrupted Georgetown Visitation’s talented back court with three steals that she converted into layups.
Bullis led by 17 points in the third quarter, but after the Cubs cut the lead to 42-29 heading into the fourth, Hairston stepped in for extra motivation. It worked. Bullis held Georgetown Visitation to just one field goal in the first six minutes of the final quarter — and scored on five straight possessions in the middle of the frame. That run was capped by a putback from Belton that made it 56-33.
“We just didn’t want any letdowns. I’ve been in situations where we have been ahead and kind of like relaxed,” Hairston said. “With a team like Georgetown Visitation, you can’t relax.”
Sniezek scored her 1,000th point on Saturday against Maret, and before the game on Sunday, she was awarded the game ball by her team.
Holy Child (18-6) wasn’t intimidated however, and used gritty play from guard Eileen Williams (21 points) to cut National Cathedral’s lead to 24-19 at halftime. That’s when Sniezek, who entered the day averaging 28.2 points per game, took over. She scored 22 points in the final two quarters — including a runner in the final seconds of the third quarter that gave the Eagles an eight-point cushion entering the fourth.
Sniezek opened the final frame with a conventional three-point play and proceeded to score 12 points in the fourth quarter to cap the win for National Cathedral, which finished 20-2 and won 13 consecutive games to close the season.