0

Frazier's 15 steals break record as Wesleyan girls roll

MARIETTA -- The single-game steals record, even in the defensive-minded Wesleyan girls basketball program that forces turnovers in bunches, looked to be pretty safe.

Until Jordan Frazier toppled it Saturday.

The Wesleyan guard had a mind-boggling 15 steals, one better than Jenny Hall's school mark more than a decade ago, as the top-ranked Wolves routed No. 7 Darlington 95-41 Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Class A state playoffs.

"That's a lot of steals," said Frazier, somewhat in awe of her feat. "It didn't really feel like I had that many. I never really think about how many (steals) I get."

Frazier wound up with 15 of Darlington's 36 turnovers in her hands, setting up the the four-time defending state champions usual spurts of baskets off turnovers. On top of that, the Wolves began the game by making 8 of 11 shots from 3-point range in barely more than a quarter.

With Wesleyan (27-4) shooting like that, Darlington (27-4) fell behind early and never recovered.

Holli Wilkins led the victors with 30 points and 11 rebounds, scoring in a variety of ways. But it was her first-half 3-point shooting (4 of 4) that left the Darlington coaches shaking their heads.

"We shot the ball really well in the first half and it came from a lot of different people," Wesleyan girls coach Jan Azar said. "I think a lot of that came from our pressure defensively. The team gets excited when we're forcing turnovers like that."

Wesleyan made six 3-pointers (three by Wilkins) in the first quarter and led 37-9 early in the second quarter before Darlington got its bearings. The lead grew to 50-16 by halftime thanks to 4 of 20 shooting by Darlington with 21 turnovers.

Frazier had 18 points and seven assists in addition to her batch of steals. The Wolves also got big games from Katie Frerking (13 points, seven rebounds), Taylor Blackmon (nine points, three steals), Brittany Stevens (eight points, six assists) and Joshlyn Belcher (eight points, six rebounds).

Wesleyan's quest for its eighth title in the past nine seasons now moves to Macon, where it will face Taylor County on Wednesday. The Wolves enter the Final Four with considerable momentum, playing some of their best basketball since an upset loss to St. Francis in the region title game.

"The past two weeks, Coach Azar has really been pressuring us about our pressure defense and how we need to get it right," Frazier said. "And this game we were right on point. ... As we got in the state tournament, we keep getting better and better."