695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
Class 1A Championship:
Southern 52, New Town 47
This was an interesting game with several momentum changes. The game was close enough at 10-9 after the first quarter with Southern of Garrett County holding a slim lead. They took over in the 2nd quarter by outscoring the Titans of Baltimore County 20-7 behind some strong inside play. Lauren Francillon is a 6'2" post player who caused problems for New Town all night. Southern went into the half with a 30-16 lead and New Town looked rattled and ready to get blown out. New Town coach Gena Young pushed the right buttons at the break because the Titans came out fired up in the 3rd quarter. They played with a lot more hustle and determination and outscored Southern 19-10 in the 3rd to cut the lead to 40-35. Southern was able to regroup in the 4th thanks to some big shots by Alicia Roth. It was back and forth the entire quarter thanks to New Town's Sydney Hines who finished the game with 17points.Southern held on behind Roth's 17 points and Francillon's 15 points and 13 rebounds. .
Southern high school picked up the sportsmanship award that is presented to a school each year. They packed the arena with a loud and enthusiatic student body that heckled and harrassed New Town's Sydney Hines all game. To their credit, when she was introduced after the game to receive her runner up award they showered her with a warm ovation for being a good sport. That was one of my favorite moments during the final.
Class 2A Championship:
Patterson Mill 33, Calvert 30
This was an ugly game. There is no other way to put it. The score was tied after the first quarter with 5 points each. Both teams struggled early to get untracked. Patterson Mill was a little better in the second quarter, scoring 10 points, while Calvert posted another 5 point quarter. Patterson Mills was able to bottle up Calvert's 6'3" Daija Thomas and hold her to 1-3 shooting for the game. Patterson Mill produced another 5 point quarter in the third quarter while Calvert exploded for 14. The final quarter was a tense nail biter, but Patterson Mill seized the momentum and the lead for good when freshman Khayla Mitchell nailed a three pointer which was followed by a Qalea Ismail lay up. They both added free throws down the stretch to seal the win and end any hopes Calvert had for winning their fourth straight 2A championship. Ismail finished with 14 points in front of Maryland head coach Brend Frese who was there to check her out. Calvert finished with 28 turnovers and just 11 field goals made for the game. Patterson Mill made 12 field goals for the game but the difference was they have a player in Qalea Ismail who could create her own offense and she was able to do just enough to get them their first championship.
Class 3A Championship
Milford Mill 40, Damascus 37
Two well coached teams squared off in the much anticipated 3A championship game. Damascus was able to control the pace in the first half with their zone defense. They kept Milford Mill from getting into their vaunted transition game by slowing the pace, and allowing their 6'5" George Washington recruit Kelly Prange to go to work inside. With Milford's senior leader, George Mason recruit Qierra Murray struggling through a 1-13 shooting night, Milford was still able to stake out an 18-16 half time lead. Deja Mckenzie came off the bench and hit two jumpers to help in the quarter. After taking an 11-8 first quarter lead, Damascus produced just 5 second quarter points. The second half was more of the same with both teams having mini runs. Prange was able to use her size advantage on her way to scoring 20 points but Milford's junior stand out Dionna White was able to answer with timely basket whenever needed, including the final two free throws to seal the win. She finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds while Prange notched 20 points and 17 rebounds. .
Class 4A Championship
Eleanor Roosevelt 64, North Point 30
Roosevelt completed their perfect season at 26-0. They jumped out to a 13-4 lead after one period and pushed it to 29-11 at the half. North Point was no match for the Raiders. Tolu Omokore punished them inside with 15 points and 20 rebounds. 15 of her rebounds came off the offensive glass. Freshman guard Octavia Wilson scored 20 points and sophomore guard Kaila Charles added 16 points and 10 rebounds. They increased their lead after every quarter by swarming North Point and holding them to 4 and 5 point quarters. With no seniors on the team they are poised to make another run next winter.
PLAYERS WHO STOOD OUT DURING THE TOURNAMENT
Sydney Hines, New Town, 5'7" guard 2015 She has great leaping ability and a nice, high arcing stroke on her 3 point shot. In the state final game she showed heart and determination after getting in early foul trouble and helped her team rally in the second half.
Lauren Francillon, Southern (Garrett), 6'2" post 2016. She has good hands and some decent footwork. She finished well and has a nice soft touch. She is a solid rebounder and she used her body well to create space. She'll be a nice pick up for a D1 school if she continues to develop. .
Tyra Hughes, Walkersville, 5'6" guard, 2014. Tyra is a Naval Academy recruit and she showed why she is playing D1 ball next year against Patterson Mill in a losing effort. She fought to the final buzzer scoring 19 points. She has a nice handle and is able to penetrate into the lane at will.
Qalea Ismail, Patterson Mill, 6'1" guard, 2015. She showed her complete arsenal during the playoffs. She had games of 38 and 26 points leading up to the championship game. She is a ridiculous athlete with range out to the 3 point line. She played multiple positions during the championship game, showing her versatility. Maryland coach Brenda Frese was among some of the top programs in the country that stopped by to check her out.
Chyna Latimer, Patterson Mill, 6'0" wing, 2017 I was very impressed by this freshman's game. She rebounded well and was effective scoring inside and showed a nice touch on short jumpers. She is wiry and strong and mixed it up with bigger players on defense.
Kelli Prange, Damascus, 6'5", center, 201 Ms. Prange is a George Washington recruit who made her presence known throughout her playoff run. She scored 15 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the semi final win over Poly and followed that up with 20 and 17 against Milford. One on one defense against her does not work well for most teams in this area. She will contribute immediately at GW.
Octavia Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, 5'7" guard, 2017. This is a real mature freshman. She scored 20 points in the championship game and it never looked like the stage was too big for her. Her shot from 3 point range is a beautiful sight. She finishes well at the rim because she uses her body well to avoid contact, but she took the bumps well. She has a knack for getting that "and 1" players are always looking for.
Tolu Omokore, Eleanor Roosevelt, 5'11", center, 2015. This is by far my favorite player of the tournament. She is an aggressive rebounder which she showed by grabbing 20 boards in the championship game. 15 of those were offensive rebounds. She is a bit undersized for a center but she makes up for it with hustle and work. She is physical and is a quick jumper which allows her to rack up big numbers on the glass. Her offensive needs work but she gets points without having plays run for her. She seems like the ultimate team player and a great teammate. She celebrated every time her team drew a charge or forced a turnover and it was contageous. The best part of her game could be her pre-game dance routine that gets the team and their fans fired up. She turned the court into her own dance floor.
Kaila Charles, Eleanor Roosevelt, 6'0", guard. 2016. Some players are just born to play the game. Ms. Charles is athletic, skilled, good looking and has a quiet swagger about her game that is hard to miss. She had quite a few division one coaches in the stands to check her progress. When she adds the deep perimeter threat to her game she will be one of toughest matchups in the DMV.
Jasmine Smith, Poly, 5'5", guard, 2014. She is small but plays big. She is the classic combo guard because she can run the offense or spot up outside and knock down threes. She is fearless and does not shy away from taking a big shot. Her 30 foot buzzer beater against City allowed Poly to advance in the playoffs. I know one MEAC school that is taking a long look at her right now.
Kephera Stokes, Poly, 5'7" guard, 2016. Kephera is a very athletic guard that can play both positions. Her 3 point shot has improved over the past year so that is an added piece to her game. She is quick and aggressive and locks up on defense. She is an exceptional athlete with good basketball IQ and is on the radar of at least two division one schools that I talked to during the playoffs.
Dionna White, Milford Mill, 5'8" guard, 2015. Dionna is an explosive athlete who has uncanny body control which allows her to avoid contact and offensive fouls on her drives to the hoop. She dropped a smooth 38 points in the semi final game and followed up with 17 in the title game, including a huge late bucket. She can kill you from deep or take it all the way to the rim. She is also a dangerous defender, registering a total of 10 steals in two games at Towson and she also grabbed 21 rebounds. She has major D1 offers on the table because there is not a more complete player in the area.
Class 3A: Milford Mill Academy def. Damascus, 40-37Class 2A: Patterson Mill def. Calvert, 33-30.
Class 3A: Milford Mill Academy def. Damascus, 40-37.Class 2A: Patterson Mill def. Calvert, 33-30.
Class 3A: Milford Mill Academy def. Damascus, 40-37.
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