The last time Robinson saw Chantilly, the Chargers were shutting them out in the fourth quarter and sweeping the regular season series, 35-19. The No. 5 Rams turned the tables in Tuesday night’s Concorde District tournament first round, dealing the No. 5 Chargers a season ending blow, 49-28.
“The last game we lost at our place…it was horrible for us offensively but we did a good job defensively, holding them to 35. So we figured we could pressure them,” said Robinson head coach TJ Dade.
The Ram pressure led to allowing Chantilly (13-9 overall, 6-7 Concorde District) just two points in the first quarter – free throws from junior guard Lisa Comerford with just 2.6 seconds remaining in quarter, her only points of the game. Robinson (7-13, 4-9) opened the game scoring the first 15 points of the contest and never looked back in securing the upset.
“We were much more patient on offense, we didn’t let them get to us, I think the reverse happened and we got inside them in the first two minutes and after that we just were patient offensively,” said Robinson sophomore guard Samantha Partonen.
Partonen looked anything but patient, hitting on three three-point shots in the first quarter and threatening to outscore Chantilly by herself for most of the game, finishing with a game-high 24 points. Fresh off of 1st team Concorde District defensive team honors, Partonen displayed the skills and tenacity that gained her that accolade well into the fourth quarter, nearly crashing into the scorer’s table diving after a loose ball late in the game.
“She leads us in every category with the exception of rebounds.” said Dade. Partonen was second on the team in rebounds.
Chantilly whittled the Ram lead down to five with just over two minutes left in the second quarter but Robinson quickly found the answer, ending the half on a 5-0 run and took a 22-12 lead into the locker room — a lead that would only continue to grow.
Robinson senior guard Tessie Evans opened scoring in the second half with a three-point shot and finished with 9 points. The Ram lead would hit 22 as they outscored Chantilly 27-16 in the second half and locked up a date with the top seeded Oakton Cougars (20-2,11-1) in the second round at Robinson.
The Cougars beat the Rams twice during the regular seasons by margins of 18 and 15 but Robinson may just be hitting its stride.
“They were a much better team tonight than they were the first two games against us and they executed very well — much quicker, and in order to beat Oakton you have to play quick and you have to execute almost perfectly,” said Chantilly head coach John Kelly.
The Rams will have the home court advantage to attempt to turn another upset, which is surprising for a team that has lost 6 more games than it’s won.
“We’ve had a tough season and in the last four games we’ve played well, talk about the tournament and peaking at the right time, I’m hoping that’s what we’re doing right now,” said Dade. “It’s going to be a dogfight.”