Dec 28, 2013
Three Chapel Hill players scored in double figures Saturday afternoon to help the Lady Tigers down West Forsyth 60-55 in overtime to capture the championship of the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket in the 2013 HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational.
The Tigers led for much of the night, but West Forsyth closed the gap in the fourth quarter and took a 43-41 lead with less than 3 minutes to play. The sides traded baskets in the final minutes of the fourth, and Chapel Hill took control in the overtime to secure the win.
Senior forward Jamella Smith, the Mix 101.5 MVP, finished with 19 points and 3 rebounds, and Raziyah Farrington and Catherin Romaine scored 17 and 10 points, respectively.
"Winning this tournament means a lot, and it shows us that we can come together when things are not going well," Smith said. "It should give us momentum in the state playoffs."
The balanced approach worked for the Tigers in each of their three tournament wins, and it proved key in Saturday's title game. The team shot 49 percent from the field and dished out assists on seven of its 13 made field goals.
Chapel Hill head coach Sherry Norris said her team's willingness to spread the ball around makes a huge difference in close games.
"Our balance is our strength. We're very cohesive, we compliment each other. We're a team of nine guards and two post players," Norris said. "Any of them can score, and defensively we play well. We are very unselfish, and I think that's what makes us."
Despite trailing for the first three and a half quarters, the Titans rallied to take a lead in the fourth quarter behind the play of senior Jessica Jones, an Auburn signee who tallied 12 straight for West Forsyth to help spur a 12-2 run.
In the overtime, however, West Forsyth's point guard Jazmine Jones, Jessica's sister and also an Auburn signee, fouled out. The difference was immediate, and according to West Forsyth head coach LaQuanda Quick, her team couldn't overcome the mental hurdle of losing half of its one-two punch.
"When she got her fourth foul and I made the substitution, we came back," Quick said. "When she went out in overtime, it was more of a mental thing than anything. This was a tough one to lose. You don't travel this far to this type of tournament to come home with the runner-up trophy."
Jessica Jones led the Titans with 24 points and 16 rebounds, and Jazmine Jones tallied 14 points and 11 boards. No other West Forsyth players finished in double figures, and the Titans struggled to make shots all night, shooting just 32 percent for the game.
Kaila Ealey, G, Broughton
Jamie Cherry, G, West Craven
Kennedy Currie, F, Dudley
Mone Jones, F, Riverside
Catherin Romaine, F, Chapel Hill
Jessica Jones, F, West Forsyth
Raziyah Farrington, G, Chapel Hill
Jazmine Jones, F, West Forsyth
Most Outstanding Player: Azura Stevens, C, Cary
Most Valuable Player: Jamella Smith, F, Chapel Hill
This story is closed for comments.