Bailey steps up late for Seton

SHARE Bailey steps up late for Seton

In a game that was electric from start to finish between Seton and St. Francis de Sales in a Class 2A Seton sectional final, the Sting got a big-time performance in the fourth quarter from junior Ebony Bailey.

She scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in that pivotal quarter, enough to carry her team to a 55-51 win. The Sting (17-9) claimed their second sectional title in a row — third in school history — and advanced to Monday’s Concordia College Supersectional against Walther Lutheran.

The feisty Pioneers (15-14) just missed winning their first ever sectional title in girls’ basketball.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am,” Bailey said. “I can’t wait for the supersectional on Monday. This game was so amazing and St. Francis is a great team.”

Bailey got offensive help from Tiffany Ellis, who connected on five three-pointers and finished with 16 points. That included a three in the second quarter well past NBA range that caused an explosion of applause from the Sting patrons.

Desiree Jackson and Mariah Cole crashed the boards hard all night, combining for 27 rebounds — 15 for Jackson and 12 for Cole.

“That was the most intense game of my life,” Ellis said. “I was happy to help my team and hearing that roar motivates me the most. As long as our team plays together their isn’t anybody who can beat us.”

The Pioneers gave it their best shot, especially in the third quarter when they erased a 31-24 halftime deficit with a 12-3 run, including the first seven points of the quarter for a 36-34 lead. Isis Mance had four points during the run and finished with 12 after going scoreless in the first half.

In the fourth, the lead changed hands five times before the Sting, trailing 51-50 with 1 minute, 25 seconds left, ended the game with a 5-0 run. Bailey, on a night when easy baskets were hard to come by, broke free twice during that run for two easy layups.

“She is a monster and figures it out so quick,” said second-year coach Kevin Green, whose team won a Class 1A sectional last year. “I can just say ‘Ebony, they are trying to send you left, just get there’ and she did it and went straight to the basket — she is the perfect player.”

Tyler Brown-Henderson had 13 points to lead the Pioneers while Sharese Scott added 10. Senior Franchessca Gill was a spark in the first half with six points, including a three-pointer, but played limited minutes in the second half.

“We played hard and I’m proud of these kids,” St. Francis de Sales coach Terrence Streater said. “It was a very emotional game.”

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