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Originally published February 7, 2014 at 9:45 PM | Page modified February 8, 2014 at 9:23 PM

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Cleveland’s senior stars shine against Holy Names | Girls basketball

Ladd scored 10 of her 21 points in the first quarter and Roper tallied 28 of her 32 in the final three.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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MyMy Ladd started with a flurry.

Makala Roper finished with a flair.

And together they made sure it was a senior night to remember for the Cleveland High School basketball team Friday night, combining for 53 points to lead the top-ranked Eagles to an 85-59 victory over No. 6 Holy Names to close out the regular season.

Ladd scored 10 of her 21 points in the first quarter and Roper tallied 28 of her 32 in the final three.

“MyMy Ladd played great in that first half,” coach Stephenie Wheeler-Smith said. “It was like, whoa!”

Ladd helped force 10 first-quarter turnovers and shredded the Holy Names defense early.

“It was just the energy from the crowd and my teammates,” she said. “It was senior night and the adrenaline was so high.”

Roper amped up her game early in the second quarter, nailing the first of her four three-pointers.

“I just wanted to play a well-rounded game,” she said. “This was our senior night, so I did want to make it special. I wanted to go out there and let the game come to me, and then it came to me and then I got hot.”

The Eagles (18-2), the defending 3A state champions, have been on fire. This was their 31st consecutive Metro League victory and 44th straight win over in-state teams. Their four losses over the past two seasons came in out-of-state tournaments. The four seniors on this team, including Alexia Mefi and Asiyah Davis, are 43-0 at home.

Cleveland opens the Metro League tournament Tuesday at home against West Seattle, and Holy Names (17-3) travels to third-ranked Bishop Blanchet – the team responsible for its other two losses.

Camariah King led the Cougars on Friday with 26 points, including five three-pointers.

While coach Rhonda Smith admits Cleveland is a great team, she said her players need to be mentally tougher. She likened this Cleveland squad to the Holy Names teams that routinely blew opponents out a few years ago.

“People were thinking they were down 10 before they even stepped on the floor,” she said. “Now we’re fighting against that mental piece.”

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