RANTOUL — Eagles and Bunnies don’t interact very often, at least off the court. That was not the case when Fisher and Rantoul girls basketball met on the hardwood on Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles came out victorious, 62-49, over the Bunnies.
Myejoi Williams and her 18-point, 11-rebound double-double were enough to sneak Rantoul past Fisher and Sydney Hood‘s 25 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the first quarter with Rantoul holding an 8-6 lead following the first eight minutes.
With 4:14 to go before half, the score was all knotted up at 16-16 before the Eagles ended the half on an 11-0 run. The run was capped off with a Kianna Berlatsky deep three to end the half as the buzzer sounded. Rantoul went into half with a 27-16 lead.
Rantoul head coach Renee Reed said Berlatsky’s shot was a huge lift for the Eagles.
“That shot Kianna made definitely gave us more momentum going into half, and I think that got everyone going,” Reed said.
The Eagles’ lead was as high as 16 points twice in the third quarter, including a 47-31 margin with 13 seconds left in third before the Bunnies cut the lead to 14 at the break.
Fisher would not go away lightly, making an 18-4 run to cut the Eagles’ lead to 51-49 with 2:05 to go.
Fisher head coach Ken Ingold said the key to the Bunnies’ run was on the defensive side.
“I put Sydney Hood on Tanaya Young and Kylee Bishop on Myejoi Williams and hoped we would help with the rest of their offense,” Ingold said. “I thought that worked because if Young and Williams are not shooting the ball that’s good for us.”
Reed said her Eagles were able to get contributions from other players to help bring home the victory.
“Everyone who played was a huge factor in the game with rebounding or passing, even if they were not scoring,” Reed said.
One of those key players was Laysha Rivera, who had four rebounds.
Ingold said that rebounding was why the Bunnies could not complete the comeback.
“The problem was we got back in the game and then we didn’t rebound. We gave them way too many offensive rebounds the entire night,” Ingold said.
The Fisher run was the last points the Bunnies could get for the game as the Eagles closed the contest with a 10-0 run, setting the final score at 62-49.
Reed said that the win is big for her team’s confidence moving forward.
“In the first couple games we had a rough start. We had some players out, and we have seen a significant change,” Reed said. “Hopefully we can build off of this and take it into the following games.”
Ingold said playing bigger schools like Rantoul is a great thing for his team.
“I think this game is more physical, but we are used to that with some of the 2A teams in our conference,” Ingold said. “I like playing Rantoul because it’s a short trip and it is always a competitive game and they always do a great job.”
Fisher will hit the road Friday night at Blue Ridge before hosting Cissna Park on Saturday.
The Eagles will host Judah Christian on Thursday and Lincoln on Saturday.
You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@RantoulPress.com or on twitter @RyanBirchRP.