DOVER — Aliyah Gregory scored 10 of her game-high 14 points in the second half Tuesday night, leading host Strawberry Crest to a 42-33 comeback win over Steinbrenner.
“I started real slow,” said Gregory, a Central Florida signee. “I felt like I needed to step it up so we could win that game.”
The Chargers, who have won 13 of their past 14 games, outscored the Warriors 23-10 after the break. They took the lead for good at 31-30 when Gregory finished off a two-on-one with Maiya Trigg with a layup off the glass. The pair reversed roles with Trigg finishing off a two-on-one as the final buzzer sounded.
“It’s like Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. We always look out for each other,” Gregory said.
Added Strawberry Crest coach La’Tosha Lewis: “They feed off each other. When one gets going, the other gets going.”
Steinbrenner (19-3) took a 23-19 halftime lead behind the steady play of Taylor Thigpen and Nicole Dorsey, who finished with 12 and eight points each, respectively. Strawberry Crest got a spark in the third when Nandi Jorden came off the bench and hit two late jumpers in the lane, including one at the buzzer.
Strawberry Crest (16-2) played much more aggressively in the second half, forcing numerous turnovers on defense and getting better looks on offense. Not coincidentally, Gregory had the most steals in the game with nine.
“Any time I have them playing pressure defense we’re almost guaranteed to get a steal,” Lewis said.
Both teams are in Class 7A, but in different districts, which means they could square off later in the postseason. For now, Lewis is content with the win that avenged a loss to Steinbrenner last season.
“Last year, we lost to them by one (point) here,” she said. “We knew going in it was going to be a tough battle.”