Today’s first marquee matchup, for the Elite North bracket championship, pitted Mission Rec Blue of Oakland against Lady Rampage, from the Riverside, California area.
The game started off like a shooting contest, with each team making three-shots. But then Rampage began outrunning MRB with cuts to the basket, fast breaks and good defense. MRB fell behind by nine and went on a small run near the end of the second half to try and catch Rampage, but they couldn’t quite close the gap. Rampage prevailed, 55-49.
Cal Sparks Gold took on the West Coast Premier Valley 17’s for the Elite South bracket championship. Gold had annihlated three opponents on their way to today’s title game, fresh off of winning a FILA Championship in Atlanta last weekend. WCPV17’s aren’t West Coast Premier’s top team; they are in Chicago right now playing in a tournament.
The two teams appeared evenly-matched until late in the first half, when WCP made a huge run. They out-rebounded and out-hustled Gold, and at one point were up by 19 points. It didn’t help that Gold was ice cold on shooting, and couldn’t seem to score to save their lives.
But in the middle of the second half, Long Beach Poly junior guard Keyla Morgan ignited Gold with her aggressive play. She got rebounds, and kept finding a way inside to score – sometimes on put-backs. Her teammates responded and finally got shots to fall for themselves, as well. Gold also stepped up their defensive pressure. Final score: Gold 54, WCP17’s 48.
“I think that was good for them,” said the parent of one of the Gold players afterward. “They weren’t really challenged here until today, and you need those challenges so as not to get complacent.”
Cal Sparks Gold roster:
Kari Korver 2012 Valley Christian 5.9 Guard
Paris Baird 2012 Windward 6.1 W. Forward
Courtney Jaco 2013 Windward 5.7 Guard
Erica McCall 2013 Ridgeview 6.3 P. Forward
Keyla Morgan 2013 L.B. Poly 5.9 Guard
Mercedes Jefflo 2013 Centennial 5.11 Guard
Jordin Canada 2014 Windward 5.7 P. Guard
Kristen Simon 2014 Windward 6.2 Center
LaJahna Drummer 2014 St.Bernard 6.3 Forward
Peyton Langston 2014 Rolling Hills Prep 6.0 Guard
Emoni Jackson 2014 Muir 6.1 W. Forward
This young team has won a lot already, and they haven’t even quite found their identity.
WCP Valley 17’s roster:
35 Cora Chan
25 Raven Doyle
14 Natalie Florescu
2 Hannah Johnson
23 Leslie Lopez-Wood
4 Alia McCoy
21 Jaya Schultz
5 Annie Tarakchian
13 Katherine Wright
11 Tahniya Sweatt
Crazy talent there.
Besides the pictures below, there is an entire gallery of photos from both games today HERE.
Lady Rampage, in the red uniforms, used good shooting in the first half and slicing into the key in the second half to pull off a victory. They defeated Mission Rec Blue for the Elite North championship, 55-49.
#21 Jordin Canada is very poised on the court for an incoming sophomore. Her defensive tenacity helped Cal Sparks Gold come back to beat West Coast Premier Valley 17’s, 54-48 for the Elite South championship.