11TH REGION GIRLS HOOPS: Strader sends Lady Indians into semifinals

Mar. 4—Nataya Strader thought about putting up a three-pointer from the corner as the final seconds ticked off the clock on Monday in Richmond.

She didn't.

And — for just a moment — she feared she had made a big mistake.

"I thought I had walked," the Madison Central junior guard said.

When Strader didn't hear a whistle, she instinctively headed toward the basket.

"I just tucked it and put it up and I was just thinking, 'please (go in),'" Strader said.

The junior guard banked in the game-winning shot with four seconds left, lifting the Lady Indians (19-11) to a dramatic 42-41 win over Great Crossing in the quarterfinals of the 11th Region Tournament. Strader finished with a game-high 22 points, despite playing only 23 minutes because of foul trouble.

Central will face Frederick Douglass on Thursday in the semifinals at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

"When she caught it, I saw the gap (in the defense)," Central coach Scott True said. "She's such an instinctive player. I call her 'warrior' all the time. When she drove, I thought she was going to get fouled. It was huge shot and a great win for us."

Central beat Great Crossing, 75-59, on Dec. 16 in the only regular-season meeting between the teams.

On Monday, however, the Lady Warhawks surged ahead in the second half and led by as much as six points. Great Crossing was up 39-34 with 1:40 left in regulation.

Central's rally started with a steal and lay-up by Strader. Foul shots by Eden Carter and Jordynn Miles got the Lady Indians within a point.

Central re-took the lead on a pair of free throws by Strader, before Olivia Tierney hit a jumper with 21 seconds remaining.

"We had no timeouts," True said. "The kids have got to know what to do. We knew where to get the ball — and she knew what to do with it."

Cameryn Ridderikhoff had 13 points, three steals, two rebounds and two assists for Central. Miles had six points and five steals. Carter finished with one points as only four Lady Indians scored.

Brooke Campbell had seven rebounds, two steals and two assists. Brittany Campbell had three assists and four rebounds.

Central shot 38.1 percent from the field and was 4-of-16 from three-point range and 6-of-13 at the line. The Lady Indians scored 24 points off 22 turnovers.

Great Crossing shot 35 percent overall and was 0-of-8 from long range.

The game featured more turnovers (38) than field goals (30).

The Lady Indians faced Frederick Douglass on Feb. 14 in Lexington. The Lady Broncos picked up a 63-43 win.

"We know we've got a challenge in front of us," True said. "They are Top 10 in the state and playing really well. It will be tough, but we will be ready."

Douglass moved into the 11th Region semifinals with a 65-47 win at home Monday over Lafayette.