The semifinal of the Boo Williams Christmas Classic sees Princess Anne prevail
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Like a prize fight, the game between Lake Taylor and Princess Anne was the title match.
Both squads came in undefeated and rarely challenged. Both came out having been challenged, but the VHSL Class 5 defending State Champion Lady Cavaliers won the night.
“(It was a) great game. It wasn’t the best officiated game, but we’re always going to get good ones and bad ones, just like there are good and bad players. We went through adversity and we won,” said Princess Anne head coach Darnell Dozier. “Kendra (Johnson) couldn’t go because of her knee. We hope that’s OK so she can finish out the season.”
The stands were packed to the rafters. There’s plenty of talent on both teams and fortunately for Princess Anne, the absence of Johnson didn’t equate to a lapse on the court. Jasha Clinton picked up any slack and led the Cavaliers with 18 points, three rebounds, five assists and four steals.
“We had to work hard to win and play good defense. Offense will come later,” said Clinton, who obviously had little problem contributing her share to the scoreboard. “They want to beat us. They haven’t beaten us in a minute. I would want to beat us too. We’re number one and they’re number two. We have a reputation of winning. We gotta maintain it.”
Sophomore guard Aziaha James contributed 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and five steals in the winning effort. She was the leading scorer with 22 points in Thursday night’s opening round win.
In the third quarter, Lake Taylor clamped down defensively, limiting Princess Anne to one made field goal and four points in total. That slowed the Cavaliers and challenged them to rally.
“(Early on) the tempo was going fast. We weren’t hitting our shots. We weren’t getting to the rim. We had to pull through,” said James. “We weren’t playing enough defense.”
Lake Taylor’s loss places them in a consolation game for the final day of the tournament. The Titans draw St. Francis Prep (NY), who defeated Bishop Ireton in the opening round of the tourney, then fell to New Hope Academy (MD) by a score of 58-37 on Friday.
Princess Anne heads the championship game where they will take on New Hope Academy. Both teams are 2-0 in the tournament.
Here’s the schedule for Saturday’s action at the Boo Williams Sportsplex:
3:00 p.m. St. Mary’s (NY) vs. St. Vincent’s Pallotti (MD)
4:30 p.m. Princess Anne vs. New Hope Academy (MD)
6:00 p.m. Lake Taylor vs. St. Francis Prep (NY)
7:30 p.m. Central Bucks West (PA) vs. Bishop Ireton (VA)
– Andy Hilton