Riverview Park-North Augusta, SC
TMP (SC) vs A’ja Wilson Elite (SC) Varsity Girls Championship
It seemed as though these two teams were on a collision course all weekend. It became apparent to those in attendance that these two teams were destined to face off with one another in a battle over supremacy. And this game did not disappoint!
From the start, both teams came out on the attack offensively and were aggressive defensively. They sparred over the first minutes of the game. TMP then hit their offensive stride and began to impose their inside presence. Off the efforts of their strong and talented post player, Tiana Spann, TMP took a 13-3 lead. Spann made 3 consecutive baskets as TMP took the 10 point lead at the 12 minute mark. Kristen Jenkins was very effective and scored consistently in the early going. A’ja Wilson Elite (AWE) quickly responded and sliced into the deficit. Kendahl Spearman put her team within 2 points with a driving basket. Young tied the game at 13 with a layup. AWE then took the lead at 15-13, on a Tanaja Kennedy layup with 8 minutes left in the opening half.
However, TMP again established their offensive rhythm and went on a run of their own. Ava Curry scored 5 consecutive points and propelled TMP to a 10 point lead, at 25-15. AWE then went on a run with their pressure defense and transition game. Following a 3-pointer by Kennedy, they cut the TMP lead to two points, 25-23. An Imani Williams put back tied the game with 2 minutes remaining in the half. The teams continued to go back and forth. A penetrating shot by Spearman tied the game at 30 going into halftime.
TMP came out early and established a 38-35 lead to start the second half. Two free throws by Peris Smith made it a one point contest at 38-37. Smith then scored consecutive baskets to give AWE the lead at 44-43 at the midway point. Both teams continued to stick to their respective game plans and attempted to exploit their post presence. Maliyiah Mason was very active on both ends of the floor. She finished tough shots and made timely baskets. Smith had a big inside presence for AWE and was very effective at blocking and affecting shots. Young was able to rebound and score on the block. Ja’Lyn Fyall knocked down a 3-pointer to give TMP a 48-47 lead with 6 minutes to play. AWE rallied back and took a 54-48 lead following a layup by Kennedy. The score was tied at 54 when Young’s put back gave AWE the two point lead until Lexi Grant tied the game at 56. Spearman then drove the ball down the lane for the go ahead layup with under 10 seconds to play. As TMP ran their set for the last possession, Spearman jumped the passing lane and made the game winning steal. AWE won the championship game 58-56 in a competitive, hard fought battle!
For TMP, Kristen Jenkins had 15 pts. Tiana Spann led all players with 17 pts.
AWE had a very balanced attack led by Maliyiah Mason with 11 pts. J’Adore Young and Tanaja Kennedy each had 10 pts.