Jul 22, 2014
The West women's basketball all-stars made sure their high school careers finished with a big win Monday night at Greensboro Coliseum, dominating in almost every statistical category to take a win from the East in the East-West All-Star game.
The West, led by 16 points from MVP Shaylen Burnette (Southern Alamance), shot just shy of 50% from the field while outrebounding the East 53-45 and recording 17 assists to the East's nine.
The all-stars of the western half of the state also overcame a 24-point performance from UNC-Chapel Hill recruit Jamie Cherry of West Craven, who led all scorers in the game.
"We didn't find a common goal," said Jamella Smith of Chapel Hill, who finished with four points. "We didn't play together like we should have. We could have beat them if we played together, but there was a lot of 1-on-1."
Both sides played a back-and-forth first half with seven lead changes and two ties before the West pulled away at the end of the second quarter to take a 40-32 lead into halftime. The West outscored the East 19-11 in the third quarter, taking a commanding double-digit lead and holding it to a 82-68 finish.
The West had five players in double figures, with Cameron Nieters (Bishop McGuiness) and Saadia Timpton (Myers Park) each scoring 13 while Malaya Johnson (North Surry) had 12 and Sheridan Pressley (Pisgah) had ten.
"We had a good nature of competitiveness tonight," said West head coach Scott Waugh of Wilkes Central. "These kids are used to seeing major competition, and there isn't any ‘back down’ in them."
Waugh pointed to starting guard Nieters as a focal point of his makeshift offense that came together and developed chemistry after just a handful of practices leading up to the game.
"She didn't average more than eight points at Bishop, but she’s a player who’s got more than that going on," he said. "Tonight she was impressive with her court sense, her savvy, her movement off the ball and her ability to see and find people."
Following Cherry's 24 points, Alecia Hardy of E.E. Smith scored 13 for the East. She was the only other East player in double figures. Alexus Hill of Northern Nash finished with eight points and Tiffany McCarter of Southeast Raleigh had six. No East player pulled down more than five rebounds.
Jalyn Brown of Riverside-Martin scored five points on 2-of-6 shooting. Chapel Hill's Catherine Romaine scored four points.
"One thing that made Chapel Hill so special was that we had such good chemistry because we played together a lot," Romaine said. "It was hard coming here and having four practices to get to know how we all play and get used to each other, but it was a struggle for them too."
Romaine and Smith, who were teammates at Chapel Hill while playing to a 3-A state championship, each scored more than 1,000 points in their high school careers. Both players said they relished the opportunity to play together one more time before going their separate ways.
"It was exciting," Smith said. "We wanted to win because we haven’t lost a game in a year, but I was happy that we got to play together and come up here together. It was like old times, getting excited together. I wish we would have won so we could go out strong."
The East team was coached by Michelle Wood of East Chapel Hill and Toni Vick-Dupree of East Wake.
Follow Zach Mayo on Twitter at @ZachMayoHSOT
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