2012 HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational Live Blog

FINAL: Hillside holds on to claim third in Mix 101.5 Bracket

Posted December 28, 2012

Final -- Hillside 47, Dudley 44: Dudley stormed back and controlled the game throughout the fourth quarter, but the Hornets were able to hold on for the three-point victory to claim third place in the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket.

Akela Maize led Dudley's comeback with seven fourth-quarter points and three rebounds. She finished the game with 13 and seven.

Hillside was plagued by foul trouble down the stretch, as both starting forwards Jordyn Smith and Daesha Marshall fouled out. The Hornets were notably frustrated with the officiating, but steady guard play allowed them to hold on for the win. Mylea McKennith hit two clutch free throws in the final seconds to give Hillside insurance down the stretch.

Third Quarter -- Hillside 40, Dudley 29: The Hornets doubled their first-half output in the third quarter to outscore Dudley 20-9 in the frame. Hillside dominated control of the game, playing tight defense to create difficult looks for the Panthers.

Jordyn Smith poured in six more points for the Hornets, and Daesha Marshall added four more to her total. Marshall has proved to be a handful for a Dudley frontcourt that is tall but struggles with physical post players.

Dudley center Akela Maize began to find her offensive game, scoring five points on a couple of nice post moves. Her impact has been limited, however, as Dudley has struggled to break Hillside's defensive pressure and get her the ball.

Halftime -- Hillside 20, Dudley 20: Dudley closed the half on a 10-0 run to come back and tie the game going into halftime. Dudley's Makala Rouse scored six points during that run to pump life into a Panthers squad that was listless through the first quarter and a half. Dudley coach Frank McNeil called a timeout midway through the second quarter and gave his team a spirited talk in the huddle, and the Panthers appear to have responded positively.

Before Dudley's run, Hillside was using dominance on the boards and sure ball-handling to slowly mount a 10-point lead. Five different Hornets have scored, although Jordyn Smith was held scoreless in the second quarter. Senior center Daesha Marshall scored on a couple offensive rebound putbacks, and her physicality is wearing down Dudley's Akela Maize in the paint.

Hillside began struggling when it started getting sloppy with the ball toward the end of the half. Dudley will likely increase its defensive pressure coming out of the locker room, so the Hornets need to settle down and continue finding Smith and their other options in the post for easy baskets.

First Quarter -- Hillside 11, Dudley 6: A strong opening quarter from Jordyn Smith (six points) has given the Hornets an early lead. It's been a rough, physical game, with neither team able to smoothly run its offense.

Akela Maize has been a big presence for the Panthers, but she's having trouble getting her shots to fall. She has just one point, but she has been effective altering shots on the defensive end.

A 3-pointer by Hillside's Mylea McKennith gave the Hornets a 5-3 lead in the early going, and the Hornets have led since then.

Pregame: Dudley and Hillside suffered heart break yesterday as both fell in the semifinals of the Mix 101.5 Girls Bracket, but the two teams square off today for third place in the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational consolation game.

Dudley is led by 6-5 center Akela Maize, who has the ability to dominate games from the paint when she's not in foul trouble. The Panthers struggled yesterday against Myers Park when she was forced to sit substantial time for picking up fouls. Maize is flanked by a few girls who are capable of hitting big-time jumpshots, notably guards Moriah Davis and Essence Abraham. The two combined for 26 points yesterday against Myers Park.

Hillside is led by forward Jordyn Smith, who tallied 20 points in the Hornets' loss to Broughton in the semifinal. Ovester Grays' team will try to pressure Dudley's ball handlers with a halfcourt trap led by Mylea McKennith and Mya Webb.


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