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Destiny Fulfilled: Reynoldsburg Wins Their First State Championship

By Mark Francis Jr, 03/12/22, 10:45PM EST

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Dreams are a reality for the Raiders

DAYTON, Ohio -- The resilience of the Raiders was on full display as they trailed by 10 with under 1:30 to go in the third quarter, but the leadership, grit and pure playmaking of those young ladies were on display as they made their way back to not only take the lead but win the game in an overtime thriller. Led by the play of Ms. Basketball candidate Imarianah Russell, Reynoldsburg got the game to overtime where she proved why her name is mentioned with the best in the state as her 28 and nine rebounds not only gave her 2,000 points but also helped her team win their first state championship 63-56 in overtime over Mason. 

With a rocking crowd on both sides, Mason were the ones that snagged the early advantage as McDonald All-American and Miami (FL) commit Kyla Oldacre opened the game by driving to the basket and scoring to take the 2-0 lead. Two possessions later she threw a dime to junior Amanda Barnes for an easy bucket to take a 6-0 advantage. Reynoldsburg senior Imarianah Russell got the Raiders on the board, scoring the first of 10 points in the quarter before coming right back with a three pointer that cut the deficit to one-point. 

Reynoldsburg took an 8-7 lead off a three from senior Makiya Miller before unsung defensive hero Amanda Barnes nailed a free throw to tie it up. For the rest of the quarter, both teams traded the lead as Gabby Razzano hit a triple then Russell once again scored five straight to put her team back on top 13-11. Barnes missed an opportunity to hit a free throw after getting the foul and the basket, but her teammate Madison Parrish was there for her as she hit a baseline jumper that ended the quarter and put Mason ahead 15-13. 

The West Virginia commit started the second quarter with a steal and lay-up that tied the game at 15. That basket was two of the seven that the Raiders were held to in the quarter, compared to 13 for the Comets. Oldacre got a putback lay-up that made the score 21-15 before Ohio State commit Mya Perry hit a shot to cut the deficit to four. Wright State commit Makiya Miller hit a three that got her crowd back into the game and got the Raiders down 26-20 before Razzano hit a shot to get the lead back to eight, 28-20, as the halftime buzzer hit. 

After the break, the Ms. Basketball candidate Russell got back to work by scoring once she touched the ball. Six straight points from Oldacre pushed the lead to nine, 36-25 before another basket by Imarianah Russell stopped the bleeding for her team. The Comets lead got as high as 10 in the quarter after a made free throw from Gabby Razzano but seven points from Mya Perry in the last 1:38 of the quarter proved helpful. Reynoldsburg went into what we all thought was the final quarter trailing 41-36. 

Oldacre scored and increased the lead to start the fourth, scoring on a lay-up, but Reynoldsburg had an answer in the form of back-to-back three’s from Trinity Ramos that cut the lead to 43-42. Two free throws from Madison Parrish and a Mya Perry three followed to knot things up at 45

with 3:45 remaining in the third quarter. This is when things got intense for the rest of the game, the next possession Imarianah Russell got Burg the lead with 2:21 left in the fourth. Madison Parrish got fouled and went to the line where she knocked in both free throws in calm fashion to send the game to overtime tied at 47. 

Imarianah Russell came out in the overtime period and showed why she is a top girls basketball player in the country as she scored on her teams first two possessions before Perry got a steal and lay-up to go up 53-49. The Raiders staved off the comeback attempt from the Comets with free throws from seniors Makiya Miller and Mya Perry, along with junior Samara Savoy. With the lead standing at nine, the crowd began to feel it and with the noise at a fever pitch, Imarianah Russell capped off the game and her 2,000 point scoring career with a steal and lay-up combination to officially end the game and give Reynoldsburg their first state championship, winning by a score of 63-56. 

The Comets were led by 17 points, 13 rebounds from their All-American Kyla Oldacre. Madison Parrish added 12 points and five assists to go along with a bright future at Mason High School, while Amanda Barnes pitched in 11 points and five rebounds. Gabby Razzano scored 10 points 

to go with five rebounds, Joy Resig had four points and three rebounds while Bradyn Johnson scored a bucket to round out the scoring for Mason. 

Reynoldsburg was led by the 2,000 point scorer Imarianah Russell with 28 points and nine boards to go along with three assists, two steals and a block. Mya Perry put in 16 points, eight rebounds and a team-high five steals while Makiya Miller pitched in 11 points and three assists. Trinity Ramos, hit the two biggest buckets of the game for her only points but she also added two rebounds and five assists. Samara Savoy’s free throws were instrumental in icing the game and she tossed in two rebounds, an assist and a steal for the state champion Raiders! 

This is Reynoldsburg first state title in school history, this is a team of destiny and their destiny was fulfilled on Saturday night.

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