The Raider offense took a hot second to get going, and then Autumn Dodd took care of that.
The sophomore and Neelyville alumna scored 10 of the Raiders' first 12 points and sparked a decisive run as Three Rivers beat State Fair 86-50 on Monday at the Libla Family Sports Complex.
"My thoughts were just go out there and play hard, and that's what we did. They looked, got me open, and I just shot it. I was hyper before the game, so I just told myself I'm going to go out there and go crazy," Dodd said. "Just one of those days, I was just ready to go."
It was a scoreless game for the first 2 1/2 minutes before Dodd, who finished with 15 points and six steals on 6 for 11 shooting, came in off the bench and scored. Over the next six minutes, she was directly involved on every Three Rivers point, kickstarting a 6 1/2 minute long, 20-4 run by the Raiders (6-0, 2-0 Region XVI).
After notching Three Rivers' first field goal, State Fair (0-3, 0-2) was slow to chase down a long inbounds to the far side of the half-court line. Dodd raced past a Roadrunner, grabbed the steal, and found Kierra Thornton for the layup.
Dodd made a 3, then added a layup and another 3.
With 1:40 remaining in the first quarter, Thornton scored for Three Rivers' first points where Dodd wasn't involved. At the time, it put the Raiders ahead 14-7 and sparked a State Fair timeout.
"I just had confidence in my shot and played to the best of my abilities. I just worked hard," Dodd said. "I was just having fun out there."
Propelled by a press that grabbed 27 steals and 35 points off turnovers, the Raiders led by double digits at the end of the first quarter, by 20 with 5 minutes left in the first half, and by 25 at halftime.
"We finally started to (help each other)," Wiggs said, highlighting how the Raiders finished with 21 assists to State Fair's 10. "Once we started sharing the ball, once we started running the floor, once we stopped trying to be perfect, we looked a lot better on offense."
The Raiders, second in Division I at 90.2 points per game, scored 7 points through 7 minutes to start the game but were quickly on pace after scoring 24 over the next 7 minutes.
"The press was pretty good for us. We got spread out a little bit, had to make some halftime adjustments," Wiggs said. "Thankfully, though, we were able to get some deflections and steals."
With a win largely in hand, the Raiders stepped off the gas in the second half. They pushed their lead to 30 in the early minutes of the third quarter and stayed comfortably in that range for the next 10 minutes. Thornton caught a long inbounds pass for an easy layup with 2 minutes left in fourth quarter to put Three Rivers ahead by 41, their largest lead of the night.
Myia Yelder led the Raiders with 21 points. The sophomore point guard was 8 for 12 shooting and matched Dodd with six steals. Yelder also had four assists and three rebounds.
Hya Haywood was also in double figures with 17 points and was 3 for 8 on 3-pointers.
State Fair had two second-chance points on five offensive rebounds while the Raiders had 20 offensive rebounds for 20 second-chance points. Three Rivers was also plus-26 on points in the paint and plus-18 on bench points.
Aaliyah Chambers led State Fair with 15 points off the bench. Bre'Asia Garze had 12 and Amaya Coakley got 10 as the Roadrunners committed 37 turnovers.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic