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Larkin's Quixmia Washington celebrates after beating Elgin 53-47 on Tuesday. Washington had 14 points and five steals for the Royals. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
It’s pronounced Kwumia and spelled Quixmia, but maybe it should be Quick-mia, Washington.
Larkin’s sophomore guard Quixmia Washington was too quick for Elgin on Tuesday night, whether driving to the basket or stealing the ball on defense as she led the host Royals to a 53-47 Upstate Eight River victory.
Washington scored eight first-half points en route to 14 for the game, made three assists then and had four of her five steals to stake the Royals to a 27-17 halftime edge.
“She has got a motor on her that just doesn’t want to quit,” Larkin coach Ruben Flores said after his first victory as Royals coach in eight tries.
Washington teamed with Taylor Chandler-Lindsey, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds to give Larkin (1-7, 1-3) a 1-2 punch.
“Tonight I told them that we had to come out with energy and our slogan for tonight was ‘intensity,’” Flores said. “We tried to keep the intensity up.”
Larkin charged out to a 15-2 lead and was never challenged seriously after that. Once Larkin built a double-digit lead in the first half, the Maroons never got closer than eight in the second half until the final minute.
Elgin was down 43-27 early in the fourth quarter and managed to get within six on a last-second shot.
“We had a lot of defensive breakdowns,” Elgin coach Nick Bumbales said of a first half in which Larkin hit 12-of-28 shots from the floor. “We had five girls going to the ball, leaving the backside open and it really hurt us.
“Hats off to them. They were the better team tonight.”
Rachel Martinez had eight points and Amber McGhee seven for Larkin.
Elgin (3-5, 0-2) was led by Maggie Powers’ 14 points, 10 coming in the second half. Jess Ramirez and Kristin Tayag had seven each for Elgin, which hit 19-of-70 shots.
“The (first) win is great but we’re focused on the big picture and trying to improve and are just looking to the next game, which is St. Charles North,” said Flores.