Texas: Austin Final Four
Griner was not enough for Summit in Austin.
Griner was not enough for Summit in Austin.
Regional Recruiting Analyst
Posted Mar 11, 2009


Would there be a Houston showdown in the finals between Cy Fair and Nimitz? It seemed possible because both teams have dominant inside scoring threats however sometimes things don’t happen that are supposed to. The first game had Mansfield Summit going against Cy Fair.

There was no score until Aarika Reyna hit a jumper with 6:08 left in the first quarter giving Cy Fair a 2-0 lead. Amy Moody’s and one gave Summit it’s first lead at 3-2 and Cy Fair was up 6-5 after two Rhian Rogan field goals and Chiney Ogwumike’s first bucket at 2:28 gave the Bobcats an 8-5 advantage. Summit scored 6 unanswered points to close the period out 11-8 and never looked back.

In what I consider one of the most dominant performances ever, Chiney scored every field goal and every free throw until Reyna’s three pointer with 9 seconds left in the game. She put her team on her back and almost got the win, two questionable calls on her, one for traveling, which took a way a bucket and a phantom foul which would have led to another bucket, took the air out of Cy Fair who was playing on emotions and trying to win this game for Cassie Peoples’ who broke her leg in the Regional semifinals. Summit had no answer for Ogwumike who scored 30 points, had 14 rebounds and 4 steals. Summit was led by Amy Moody who scored a variety of ways with 15 points and TCU signee Star Crawford with 10. Cy Fair finishes the season 35-4 and should be considered a favorite to come back next year, which would make it it four trips to Austin for Chiney.

Nimitz 74 Pflugerville 47

This is the game everyone came to see. There were so many folks, in fact tickets were being sold the upper section . I am not sure but this might have been the largest crowd ever for girl’s game in the State Championship semifinals The crowd was into it even before the game started and Brittney Griner was aiming to please as she dunked a variety of ways during pre game warm ups ending with an alley oop from Jessica Diamond before the refs blew the whistle as they came onto the court. This game was supposed to start at 8:30 however for some strange reason it was delayed until 9:00. Finally, it was about to happen and even though Cy Fair lost earlier, you could sense show time was in the air.

Was there an upset in the making? Nimitz came in 36-1, their only loss, Dulles, was avenged in the Regional semifinal game back in Houston. Pflugerville was 32-5 and had Kaylan Martin, a kid I have watched develop into a D1 player for what seems like an eternity, she can play. They also had a kid I kept reading about on message boards, Nneka Enemkapali and that name Nneka, is a name that had been playing in a state championship game the previous two years, Chiney Ogwumike’s older sister, now playing at Stanford.

Nimitz jumped out to an early10-2 lead before Pflugerville closed out the the first quarter with a 12-7 run, trailing 17-14 behind the scoring of Martin and Enemkapali, who picked up her second foul with one minute left in the game. I heard this Nneka kid was special and after a few trips down the court, I saw it and folks, she is special. There was one big problem and that was the fact that Griner had already scored 10 points and now, Nneka was on the bench.

Griner only scored 6 points in the second quarter but she also had 3 assists and with Nneka picking up her 3rd foul with 3:38 left in the half, the writing on the wall was becoming clearer as Nimitz extended their lead at halftime to ten, 38-28. Martin did all she could to try and keep Pflugerville in the game with her team leading 8 points, Nimitz got expected points at the half from Griner, 16 and unexpected points from Alicia Seay, 11. Nimitz was 17-23 on their field goals while Pflugerville was 12-36.

Not even a minute into the third quarter, Nneka went down in what was reported as a knee injury, how severe, I don’t know, but she was finished for the game and so was Pflugerville. “IT” happened with 3:13 left in the third quarter, IT being a two handed monster slam Darryl Dawkins would be proud of. Griner added 12 points and Nimitz was cruising 54-38. In the final quarter, Griner scored 16 points and finished with 44, a new state single game record, she also became the first female to dunk in the state tournament. Seay finished with 11 and Chrishauna Parker added 9 as Nimitz moves on to the championship game. Martin finishes her brilliant career at Pflugerville with 10 points.

Mansfield Summit 52 Nimitz 43

Before more than 7600 fans, Mansfield Summit did the unthinkable, the unimaginable and the unbelievable. Nimitz jumped out to a 7-0 lead before Starr Crawford bucket at 4:48 in the first quarter. Summit closed out the quarter with a 10-2 run capped by a Breanna Harris jumper at the buzzer. Summit had the early advantage because 10 of it’s points came into the paint. Griner stopped that in the second quarter as Summit scored ZERO points in the paint and even though Griner scored back to back buckets to start the second quarter giving Nimitz a 13-12 lead, it would be the last time they lead as the half ended with a 15-14 Summit lead.

Summit started the second half with a 7-0 run before Nimitz scored on a Sade Kelly lay up almost halfway into the third as Summit outscored them 16-10 in what proved to be the boost Summit needed and the confidence that they could win and they did just that 52-43. Summit had a very balanced scoring attack led by Crawford’s 14, Amy Moody’s 11, Alisha Hooker and Taylor Filmore had 8 points each, Loren Mc Daniel’s 6 and Breanna Harris 5. Crawford also added 12 rebounds for a double, double, Griner scored 9 points in the final quarter, finished with 22 points on 10-11 shooting, had 12 rebounds and 9 blocks, almost a triple double, in fact throw in her 19-21 field goal shooting the night before and this kid was a mind boggling 29 out of 32 from the field for the tourney. Chrishauna Parker added 12 points and 10 rebounds, Sade Kelly 6 and Jessica Diamond 3. Nimitz finishes with a 37-2 record and has nothing to be ashamed of. Congratulations to Mansfield Summit on two outstanding victories.

Summary

When I wrote my first story, I mentioned the top 5 teams in Houston were Dulles, Cy Fair, Bellaire, North Shore and Westfield. The second group had Nimitz, Cinco Ranch and College Park and since Ft Bend is usually the strongest district in the Houston area, I took Hightower. 7 of those 9 teams made it to the Regional Semis, Nimitz, Bellaire, Dulles and Hightower in Region 3, Cy Fair, College Park and Westfield in Region 2. The two that didn’t make it were North Shore, who was knocked out by Dulles and Cinco Ranch who was knocked off by Nimitz so I guess I was close.

Westbury Christian wins TAPPS State Tournament

I haven’t watched a lot of basketball outside of 5A in the Houston area over the years because the competition wasn’t all that great. Unlike powerhouses from the Dallas area, Dallas Lincoln, Fort Worth Dunbar and Bishop Lynch to name a few schools that regularly compete with 5A schools, that haven’t been the case in the Houston area for many. Angleton was once a thorn in many top 5A sides. Dickinson gave 5A programs fits last year, while making a run for state, but year in and year out, it just doesn’t happen.

Without paying much attention to the smaller schools, I saw Westbury Christian again separate itself from the rest. First, Waltia Rolle signed with North Carolina, she 6’5 and ranked in the top 50 by everyone. Then they did the unthinkable and beat Dulles, led by Kelsey Bone in the Katy ISD Tournament. I contacted Coach George Washington to find out more about this great team

SC-You all had a great run. What stands out about this team?

GW-“This is a very special team that has achieved everything, this year, through its unselfishness. And with a team this unselfish and talented, it is hard to key-on or double a certain player. They all hurt you.”

SC- You all beat Dulles, the team I thought was good enough to win the 5A State Championship. Do you feel you guys could have competed on a regular basis with the 5A schools?

GW-“We feel that we are the best girl’s high school team in Texas.”

SC-Waltia Rolle is moving on to North Carolina. Everyone is saying the party is over and you guys are in trouble. How do you feel about all of that smack?

GW-“With a good core returning next year, the future looks bright for us?”

Westbury Christian Lady Wildcat’s final record is 43-1 (Last team since 1957 to record 43 wins in a season) their lone loss came when Rolle was vacationing in the Bahamas. A poster on Texashoops called Westbury Christian the best team in the state. She may have been correct. They won 6 preseason tournaments: Charlie Thomas Tournament Champs Corpus Christi Riviera Classic Champs Sharpstown Rotary Champs Lovelady Large School Division Champs Katy ISD Tournament Champs Alvin Lions Club Silver Division Champs

Top players on team

Top Players:

Waltia Rolle (6-6, SR, Post); WCBA All-American;UNC Signee; First Team – All-State; First Team – All District; 17.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.8 bpg, 61.0 FG% (in 15 min per game)

Amber Orrange (5-7, Guard); First Team – All-State; First Team – All District; 13.6 ppg, 6.2 apg, 4.4 rpg, 4.6 spg, 54.0 FG% (in 17.8 min per game)

Sonja Vuong (5-4, SR, Point); First Team – All-State; First Team – All District; 5.7 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.1 spg (in 14.6 min per game)

Jakeveya Mitchell (5-8, SR, Guard); First Team – All-State; First Team – All District; 12.0 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3.3 spg (in 16.4 min per game)

Leticia Cuellar (5-8, JR, Guard); Second Team – All-State; First Team – All District; 8.3 ppg, 41 3PT% (in 17.4 min per game)




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