Lady Storm wins LHSAA District 4-1A title
Published 12:59 pm Monday, February 13, 2023
FERRIDAY — Roniya Ellis may be just a sophomore on Delta Charter School’s varsity girls’ basketball team, but she is already making history. So much so that she was recognized last Thursday night on Senior Night after last Thursday night’s pivotal LHSAA District 4-1A game against the Delhi High School Lady Bears.
Even though she wasn’t a factor in the first half offensively, Ellis finished strong and even toyed with a triple-double as she ended up with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and seven steals as the Delta Charter Lady Storm held on for a 49-35 win over Delhi to win the district championship and finished undefeated in district play.
Lady Storm head coach Ronald Ellis noted that Lady Bears head coach Emily Anderson went to a defense that implemented a double team on Roniya Ellis the entire first half. However, that strategy would backfire on the visitors as they fell behind 18-4 after one quarter of play and 32-5 at halftime.
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“Surprisingly, I didn’t expect that type of dominance. They put two girls on Roniya and that worked in our favor,” coach Ellis said. “We were able to get drives to the basket by Chyann (Lee) and were getting rebounds when we missed shots. We got a lot of shots from open people.”
With the girls’ district title at stake, Delhi would not go down without a fight. The Lady Bears hit some key shots from long distance and that allowed them to outscore Delta Charter 20-7 to cut the Lady Storm’s lead to 14 points at 39-25.
“They came out with a lot of energy and they hat some big 3s,” Ellis said. “We panicked a little bit, but then we didn’t panic. They made a nice run, but we weathered the storm.”
Perhaps just as surprising as the big lead that Delta Charter had in the first half was that Delhi decided to no longer double team Roniya as the second half went along, and that turned out to be a big mistake for the Lady Bears.
“She hit some big shots for us. Chyann Lee, our point guard, got the ball to her and she hit some big shots that broke their back,” Ellis said.
Lee finished with 13 points while Mikayla Matthews finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.
“This is my ninth season and the 10th year the school has been opened and this is the first time we’ve won a district championship. I don’t think another sport has one a district title,” Ellis said. “And we finished 10-0.”
Roniya Ellis eclipsed the 1,000-point mark recently and now has 1,049 points in her young career. Even though she has two-plus years left at Delta Charter, she was recognized for her accomplishment as part of the Senior Night festivities between the varsity games.
The win improved to 19-9 overall and allowed the Lady Storm to move up one spot No. 8 in the Select Division IV power ratings. Ellis said if they stay there, they will have a first-round bye in the playoffs. He said the girls’ brackets would come out later on Monday.