Hamilton Heights end St. Frances Undefeated season, advance to Nationals Final
Queens, NY – Day two of the DICK′s Nationals began with the ladies' bracket. Hamilton Heights (TN) and St. Frances Academy (MD) battled in a thriller, Hamilton Heights winning 56-55 in overtime.
Hamilton held on by a thin hair thanks to two free throws by Elizabeth Balogun that put the Lady Hawks up one point. Boulden finished with a team-high 14 points and game-high 7 blocks.
Freshman, Amber Reese, had a monster game, finishing with 20 points, 22 boards, 6 dimes, and 3 steals. Reese put-back to end the fourth quarter sent the game into overtime. The freshman forward worked hard from start to finish, trying to battle against the size of Hamilton Heights.
″I think we proved why we were 30-0,″ Reese said. ″The country got to see that and even though we lost, we′re still 30-0 in my heart.″
The length of Hamilton Heights was a big factor. Treasure Hunt, Balgoun, and Kamilla Cardosa clogged the paint and made it difficult for the Lady Panthers to penetrate.
Hamilton Heights started the game on a 9-0 run. St. Frances first four possessions resulted in turnovers and block shots attempts. It wasn′t until the two minute mark that the Lady Panthers scored their first bucket.
″The message during the run was we need to pick it up and communicate,″ St. Frances guard, Mia Davis said about the early run by Hamilton Heights. ″During the 9-0 run we weren′t communicating during the beginning of the game… we said we need to get back, stop making lazy passes and once we got back out there we picked up the slack.
The Lady Panthers fought all game to overcome deficits. They were able to tie the game in the second quarter, going 10-16 at the free throw line. Poor shooting from the field by St. Frances still allowed Hamilton Heights to keep the lead going into halftime.
The Lady Hawks went up by as much as 13 in the third quarter, once again using their size to create offense. Amber Hunt hit a big three that started 7-0 for the Hawks.
St. Frances began an 13-0 that started in the final minute of the third quarter. Nia Clouden knocked down a three-pointer that tied the game at 40. Amber Hunt answered with a three of her own, followed by a tough layup by Jazmine Massengill, who finished with 12 points. Cardosa missed a free throw on the other end which gave the Lady Panthers an opportunity to get one more shot off. Delicia Pinnick pushed the ball up court and got inside the paint for a layup attempt. Reese cleaned up the missed attempt and put the ball back up as time expired.
In overtime, A.Hunt and Pinnick traded threes to start the period but it was free throws that helped win the game for the Lady Hawks. The Lady Panthers had one last attempt to score with 20 seconds left. Reese got a look at the rim but the ball rolled around rim.
The Lady Panthers were disappointed about the loss but they were happy with their performance. They wanted to prove to people why they were invited and why they were undefeated.