At the Twin City girls’ basketball championship last week, St. Paul Central sophomore KENNEDY GAY hit two free throws, and senior LYRIC WILLIAMS nailed a three-pointer before the halftime buzzer — scoring all five points with 0.4 seconds remaining (after the free throw, a Washburn player inbounded a ball that went untouched and out of bounds giving Central possession).
This gave their team a 35-32 lead and provided enough momentum for St. Paul Central to defeat Minneapolis Washburn, ranked number four in Class 3A, 71-67 while offsetting a 32-point
performance by Washburn’s University of Iowa-bound CHASE COLEY.
After halftime ASIYA SMITH, center RAYNA SHEROW and JADA JONES helped Central build a 45-39 lead at the 12:30 mark.
Coley, a 6-2 forward who is among the state’s best, scored twice and teammate LUCIA RENIKOFF’S jumper tied the score (45-45) a minute later.
A 10-0 Central run, led by transitions baskets from Williams, Jones and Sharow, gave the defending St. Paul City Conference champs a commanding 55-45 lead with 8:41 left.
Despite being outscored 15-11 during the next five minutes (with Washburn’s Coley, Renikoff, KENDA ZELLNER-SMITH, EMMA SHEPHERD, NATALIE HOLDAHL providing the scoring punch) the Minutemen maintained control of the game — thanks to contributions from Sherow, Kizart, ALEEYA CURTIS-EVANS and Smith — to maintain a 66-60 lead at the 3:10 mark.
Washburn, the defending Minneapolis City Conference champs, however, was not done. Reinkoff drained a three-pointer and Coley converted two free throws and capped a 7-0 run with a coast-to-coast crossover move the brought the crowd to its feet and gave the Millers a 67-66 lead with 1:40 remaining.
Central responded with two free throws from Smith at the 29.9 mark and another by Kizart seven seconds later to make it 69-67.
Kizart’s steal and layup as time expired sealed the victory.
Williams led Central’s balanced attack with 15 points. Kizart had 12, Jones and Gay each finished with 11 and Sherow chipped in 10.
Renikoff added 16 and Holdahl 12 for Washburn.
St. Paul Central: Lyric Williams 15, Chelcie Kizart 12, Jada Jones 11, Asiya Smith 11, Rayna Sharow 10, Aleeya Curtis-Evans 5, Kennedy Gay 5, Hayjah Richards 2.
Minneapolis Washburn: Chase Coley 32, Lucia Renikoff 16, Natalie Holdahl 12, Kenda Zellner-Smith 5, Emma Shepherd 2.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to [email protected].