"Playing in these games, against these great teams, so many times, you know it's always going to come down to the fourth quarter and it's always going to come down to foul shots," said Natalya Lee, who was named tournament MVP for the second year in a row as RV, ranked No. 1 in South Jersey by The Inquirer, won its second straight SJIBT. "So that actually helps take the pressure off a little bit."
Lee was named MVP after scoring just two points against No. 2 Willingboro (19-4). But it's never been about big numbers for RV (20-2). It's the timely steals that Lee, a senior guard, came up with. It's her ability to grab tough rebounds in the final minutes of close games.
"We showed a lot of character today," RV coach Anthony Corrado said. "This game was a war; there was a big crowd. But the girls got stops when they needed to. They made their foul shots down the stretch. That was the difference."
The Chimeras were without starting point guard Nola Henry, who sat with an ankle injury that could keep her out until the playoffs. And though she gutted it out through an entire game, guard Kara Cezar (13 points) was visibly slowed by a lower-back injury she suffered in Friday's win over Holy Cross.
"I'm proud of Kara because I know she was in a lot of pain, but she wouldn't let me take her out," Willingboro coach Marchelle Coleman said.
Rancocas Valley 9 8 17 12 - 46
Willingboro 10 10 13 10 - 43
RV: Natalya Lee 2, Kristen Smith 10, Lauren Moses 8, Jasmyne Lewis 10, Brianna Logan 16.
W: Micahya Owens 18, Gabby Bennet 2, Kara Cezar 13, Imani Stepni 8, Taylor Lewis 2.
Contact Chris Melchiorre