Lawrence Wins MVP in GACA All-Star Game
March 30, 2014Kendrick High School
Miller Grove High School coach Renee Breedlove wanted to make it as simple as possible for her North Senior team in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-Star girls basketball game Saturday at Armstrong Atlantic State University.
With only a two-hour, get acquainted practice session on Friday, there was not much a coach can install for a squad of 11.
But even the simplest of plans can undergo a change, and that was the case for Miller and her coaching staff of Southwest Atlanta Christian coach Jackie Cowan and Miller Grove assistant Eric Dawson.
“We decided on Friday we would go with a 3-2 zone,” Breedlove said. “We would just use a simple offense and rely on the girls’ basketball ability to figure it out. All of these girls have played at a high level and their basketball IQ is good.”
“Then, because we had a late breakfast, we decided to go with a man-to-man,” Breedlove said. “We didn’t want them coming out standing around after eating late. The man-to-man got us moving and there was no reason to change.”
Breedlove’s decision worked to perfection as the North team rolled to an easy 81-66 win over a South team that never got untracked.
In the GACA junior game, the South girls got a 3-pointer from North Cobb’s Kyrie Chandler with 7 seconds to play to get a come-from-behind 95-93 victory over their North counterparts.
McEachern point guard Te’a Cooper turned in an outstanding performance for the winning South team, as she scored 39 points — 21 on seven 3-pointers — to steal some thunder from the North’s highly publicized Asia Durr.
Durr, who earlier this month led St. Pius X to its second straight Class AAA state championship which included a semifinal win over Beach, had 18 points.
However, on this day Durr, who is considered to be the top junior recruit in the country and was just named Georgia’s Gatorade Player of the Year, had to play second fiddle to Cooper, who has helped lead McEachern to two Class AAAAAA state championships (2012, ’14) in her three years as a starter.
After seven minutes of play, the South seniors trailed 11-10 when everything fell apart.
Triggered by Alcorn State signee Lauren Turner and Andreona Keys, who will play at Purdue, the North seniors went on a 20-2 run that blew the game wide open.
South Effingham standout Tianna Germain drove the lane for a layup with 7:48 left in the half for her team’s first field goal in eight minutes for a 31-14 deficit, but the North never looked back.
Germain, headed to Kennesaw State, had four points while Jenkins’ Faith Sanders had two for the South. Sanders, however, turned an ankle in the first minute of the game and missed the rest of the half and was limited to just a few minutes in the second.
“We couldn’t throw a rock in the ocean,” said South coach Steven Cole of Forest Park High. “They had a lot of a talent. There’s five or six kids there who have won state championships, and it showed.”
Turner, who played at Mays, had 19 points, and Jasmine Carter of St. Pius X added 10. Kahlia Lawrence of Class AA state champion Kendrick led the South with 12. Lawrence and Turner were named players of the game.
NORTH SENIORS 81,
SOUTH SENIORS 66