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Lee Girls Take Out Edison

Lancers head to semifinals to face Madison.

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Lee will face Madison in the semifinal round of the regional tournament at the Patriot Center.

As the clock drained, Lee girls head coach Rudy Coffield couldn’t stop hugging his players. He clapped it up with 30 seconds left, eliciting a huge ovation from the pro-Lancer contingent directly behind his bench.

As the buzzer sounded on Tuesday, tears of joy drained down several players’ faces, who were overcome with sheer emotion.

Lee, the third seed from the Patriot District, ousted top-seeded Edison on Tuesday, grabbing a 73-63 victory on the road in the quarterfinal of the region tournament.

The Lancers advanced to the Patriot Center, on the campus of George Mason University, to face Madison, the top seed from Liberty District for a chance to compete for the region title.

“We’re so excited to go to the Patriot Center,” said Lee junior forward Kristin Mial. “We want to go all the way. This is what we’ve been waiting for. It just keeps getting better and better.”

For Rudy Coffield, who is in his fifth season as the girls basketball coach, the victory was all encompassing. Throughout the season, he continued to preach to his girls that the season wasn’t over, even when they were deeply disappointed by two heartbreaking losses to T.C. Williams. One particular district tilt was at home where they led by 15 points at halftime and squandered the lead. Last week, Lee was bounced in the semifinals of the Patriot Tournament by West Springfield, which beat the Lancers 67-60 in overtime.

The victory over Edison, the two-time defending state runner-up, was pure vindication. Edison, with two Division I players in Adria Crawford (Georgetown) and Chasity Clayton (Florida State), represents a powerhouse in the region and in the state.

“Everybody all year has been doubting us,” Mial said. “We just proved ourselves.”

Lee junior guard Priscilla Moseh tallied a game-high 25 points, while junior forward Kristine Mial notched 24 points. J'Quita Babineaux, a senior 6-foot forward added 14.

Down 18-10 after the first quarter, the Lancers went on a pivotal run in the second quarter, scoring seven straight points to close the first half.

“We wanted to come out and drag them into a war they’ve never been in before,” Coffield said. “That’s a close game and we wanted to put pressure on them to match up to it. The girls played awesome.”

Edison went back on top early in the third quarter, but Lee notched a crucial 13-2 run to blow the game wide open. The Lady Eagles never got within nine points for the rest of the game.

“We were on a mission,” said Babineaux, a senior forward. “From the beginning of the game to the end of the game.”

Clayton, Crawford and Myisha Goodwin, the National District Defensive Player of the Year, struggled throughout. Crawford scored a team-high 19 points, while Clayton (14 points) and Goodwin (12 points) struggled to find their rhythm.

We’ve been close, but I saw a team in Lee that came out with a lot of hunger,” said Edison coach Dianne Lewis, who was named the National District Coach of the Year.

“That’s hunger because they felt like they had been denied the last couple of years. It’s hard to beat a team that comes out with that intensity and that hunger.”

We’ve been close, but I saw a team in Lee that came out with a lot of hunger,” said Edison coach Dianne Lewis, who was named the National District Coach of the Year.

“That’s hunger because they felt like they had been denied the last couple of years. It’s hard to beat a team that comes out with that intensity and that hunger.