After having to stage a big fourth-quarter comeback Friday to advance to the NCISAA 3A girls state title game, the Providence Day Chargers needed no such drama Saturday.
The duo of Jatari White and Ja’da Brayboy were a two-person wrecking crew in leading the Chargers to a 44-28 victory over the Rabun Gap Eagles on their home court.
The Chargers’ state title win also avenged a 4-point loss to the Eagles during the regular season.
The Chargers (27-4) have now gone to nine straight state title games, winning eight.
“Any time you play in a state championship game you’re playing a quality opponent,” said Providence Day coach Josh Springer. “I knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle and it was despite the ending margin.”
White and Brayboy scored all but two of Providence Day’s points. White led all scorers with 24 points, while Brayboy added a strong 18 for the Chargers.
The Chargers roared out to a 21-7 first-half lead and held the Eagles to single digits in three of the game’s four quarters.
The Eagles (15-8) cut the Providence Day lead to 12 points after three quarters as Rabun Gap began to heat up with 12 third-quarter points. But Rabun Gap had no answer for the inside presence of White, who knocked down 14 second-half points including six in the final quarter.
Another big factor in Providence Day’s win was putting the clamps on Rabun Gap’s leading scorer, Erica Williams. A 30-point scorer during the regular season, Williams was held to only 8 points. No Eagles player scored in double figures.
Asked how this state title compared with past championships, Springer said. “Every one is special, but the thing that is really special about this one is that I don’t think we were the most talented team in the state this year to be perfectly honest.”