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Steward Spartans win state championship

Posted at 2:30 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 18:16:12-05

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- The Steward Girls Basketball team made school history when it made the VISAA Division II State Championship Final.

But just making the state final wasn't enough.

The Spartans defeated Nansemond-Suffolk 54-45 to win the program's first state championship.

"It's pretty special for sure," Steward Head Coach Kara Bacile said. "I think it feels better as a Head Coach with all that relief coming off. I couldn't be prouder of this group."

Bacile, who just completed her second year at Steward, won three State Championships as an assistant on Larry Starr's staff at Monacan.

"[Starr] is probably my biggest supporter," Coach Bacile explained. "To have him here no one will be more proud than him. So it means the world that he's hear supporting me."

The Spartans jumped out to a 14-2 lead after one quarter and never trailed in the final.

Sherese Pittman scored 12 of her team high 23 points in that period.

"State Championship games, the best players come to play in the biggest moments," Bacile said. "She is who she is, she's the best player in the state and I'm so proud of her."

Nansemond-Suffolk made a second half run after being down 27-10 at the half.

Alivia Giles keyed a third quarter run with a three-point play that cut Steward's lead down to nine late in the quarter.

Mimi Traynham helped the Spartans keep the Saints at arm's length with free throws in the fourth quarter and finished with 20 points to go along with Pittman's 23 points and 16 rebounds.

"That's been our goal from the get go was to get a State Championship done," Bacile said. "We got a really special group of juniors. They've been playing together the last three years and we put all the tools together and play really hard and we're going to get one done."