By: Rebecca Gray
ATLANTA — The championship game of the Peach State Basketball Holiday Invitational Red Division was a game of runs and featured two heavyweights in Riverdale High School (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and New Hope (Thomasville, N.C.). The game was not decided until the final minute but the patience and resiliency of Riverdale allowed them to prevail in the end with a 61-56 win.
Although both teams made their respective runs in the second half, Riverdale was up 51-50 with just under three minutes to play and 6-foot junior Shelbie Davenport had just fouled out. After a couple of missed baskets and turnovers for New Hope, Alexa Middleton, a 5-9 junior guard, and Olivia Jones, the 5-9 guard who signed with Middle Tennessee State, ended up sealing the game by making six straight free-throws to net the final margin of five points.
New Hope came out ready and running from the tip and took an early lead, which it held for most of the game. service quality dissertation Sarah Beal, a 5-9 senior from Charlotte, N.C., was very impressive for New Hope and provided her team a lot of energy and intensity. Beal helped build the early 14-8 lead within the first four minutes of the game, but Riverdale came back with a run of it’s own when Olivia Jones scored the Warriors’ first eight points.
The score at the end of the first quarter favored New Hope by one and the Phoenix were doing a great job of running Riverdale in transition and creating easy layups. New Hope played in a variety of different defensive sets for the remainder of the game to try and slow down Riverdale’s perimeter attack. New Hope had an eight-point lead midway through the second quarter before Middleton hit consecutive 3-pointers to cut the deficit to three at the half.
Middleton and Jones both ended up with 19 points apiece for the Warriors, but it was the plays that didn’t show up on the stat sheet that made the difference. Great teams can find ways to win even if shots are not falling. Riverdale was tenacious on short english essays for students both ends of the floor and the 50-50 plays along with the effort and hustle of the entire team brought the Warriors a victory.
White Division Championship
The White Division final was a battle until the very end between Webb School (Knoxville, Tenn.) and St. Joseph Catholic (Huntington, W.Va.). Webb held a lead for the majority of the game in large part to the perimeter shooting of Katie Collier of Knoxville, Tenn. Collier connected on four 3-pointers and finished with 15 points in the 53-48 victory.
St. Joseph was down by as many as 14 points in the third quarter and fought back to tie the game at 50 with 5:46 to play. Collier drained a 3-pointer immediately after to give Webb the lead and it never looked back. Juniors Griffin Dempsey and Mychal Johnson had 17 points, respectively, for St. Joseph’s.
Silver Division Championship
The veteran play of Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.) was too much for Carrollton (Ga.) as the Admirals cruised to a 46-30 championship win in the Silver division. Seniors Madison Blevins, who has signed to play at Belmont, Whitney Smith, research paper assistance service Katie Overton and junior Rebecca Jameson were able to slow the game down and take control from the tip.
Carrollton thrives in transition and Farragut was able to throw a mixture of defensive schemes at the Trojans, which put them out of rhythm the entire game. The difference in the game was the ability to execute and do the little things to win and that is why Farragut’s experience and maturity prevailed in the end.
Smith and Overton finished with nine points each and Jameson added eight points.
Freshman point guard Crystal Dangerfield is the fire that fuels the engine for Blackman High School (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). Dangerfield started the game off on a tear, scoring five of Blackman’s first eight points and finishing the first half with 12 points en route to a 66-32 victory and a game high 19 points.
Although Holy Innocents had the home court advantage, the speed and athleticism of the Blaze proved to be too much for Holy Innocents as it could never find a rhythm on offense. Dangerfield continued to score at will from everywhere narrative essay love is blind on the floor in the second half with a variety of mid-range jumpers, 3-pointers, and plenty of uncontested layups.
Blackman opened up a 20-point lead at the end of the third period as the pace of the game seemed to wear on Holy Innocents. Dangerfield finished with 19 points, sophomore wing Alexus Johnson added 16 points and freshman center Jazz Bond chipped in 11points for Blackman.
Around the Rim:
Katie Frerking, who has signed to play at Auburn, dropped 26 points on Buford (Ga.) in Wesleyan’s (Ga.) 59-53 victory in the fifth place game of the red division. Frerking averaged 24 points in the three games of the Holiday Invitational.
Archer (Lawrenceville, Ga.) sophomore center Cii Cii Marseille scored the game-winning basket with 2.3 seconds left in the game to beat Smyrna (Tenn.) in the third place game of the silver division.
Rebecca Gray is a contributor to Peach State Media. She’s been in the community as an evaluator and a columnist since 2008. She also serves on the Naismith Awards selection committee. Gray played college basketball at both Kentucky and North Carolina.