Posted by Andy Durham on April 6, 2009 at 9:58 am under Amateur | 3 Comments to Read

How do you ask a team that is undersized,outmanned,out aged,out skilled, just lost a teammate to a serious injury and a player gone on vacation and one that quit to go beat a team that just beat you by 35 points in pool play the day before and a team that is beating and destroying teams by at least that amount or more through out the tournament?

Normally the correct answer would be is just do your best and finishing second is not bad no matter what the score is.

On normal teams that answer may suffice; but Greensboro Galaxy team has become accustom to accepting challenges both locally and Nationally over the past few years. Anyone that has watched this team first inclination would be that they do not look like they can play because they do not have a swagger or bravado type of disposition. It has happened at Nationals in 2007 when they were Division II National Champs. It happened at the Division I Nationals in 2008 when they had to overcome a fallen teammate who had to miss three games. They made it to the Classic Championship game before losing 66-62. They gained the respect of many of the teams there because many kept wondering how were they able to keep winning?

Well on Sunday at Northwest High School that same scenario presented itself again. They were playing against older girls from Charlotte area that attend such powerhouses as Butler, West Charlotte and East Meck. They had at least 4 players that were 6’1 or taller. They had a player that is ranked 19th in the country. They have a player that has already verbally committed to Duke. Plus they had a team that had a certain swagger that was richly deserved because they had just destroyed the Greensboro Gaters earlier that morning. Their fans were very boastful to add more salt to the wound.

Greensboro Galaxy never said much but went about their normal routine with a major concern about their fallen teammate whom they spent four hours with at the hospital the day before. No one in their right mind if they were betting would have chosen the under the radar Greensboro Galaxy Sophomore laden team that should be playing in the 15 year old age group. The Galaxy squad found themselves trailing by 9 points at least three times in the game. 19-10, 29-20 and 49-40 in the second half. In the first half Galaxy mounted a rally and just at the buzzer Katrina Gibson of Smith High hit a twenty footer to close the gap to 35-34. Galaxy was excited but it did not last long because the powerful Rise went on a 11 to 0 run and seemingly had control of the game. One common thread that many may not have seen was that Galaxy was still hustling and running and one could see that the Rise were beginning to get a little tired and Galaxy was getting the lose balls. Miranda Jenkins of Eastern Guilford who was held to 2 points at the half scored 15 of the teams 30 points in the second half and the Rise were having a matchup problem and tried to use several different players. Brittany Drew of Page played a remarkable game and knocked down shots from all over the court including a very big three pointer as the 30 second clock ran down to close the gap to 49-48. Desiree Drayton of Dudley battled those big girls all day by grabbing 11 rebounds and 13 points and made a very key block with 20 seconds left when the Rise player looked like she had an easy layup. Portia Oakley of Page has been playing great all tournament and knocked down two three pointers and grabbed 5 rebounds. Her hustle and determination has been a very welcome addition. She kept the Duke recruit off balance by getting in front of her a limiting her movement. Chell Jackson of Dudley has been one of the major developments this season in AAU basketball. She has learned to attack the basket and finished and has an uncanny ability to grab a rebound which she had 7 and help lead the fast break. Her freethrow shooting 15-24 is very solid. Katrina Gibson of Smith High made a very nifty move to the basket and converted that had the crowd going woooooo! She handles herself very well on the court and shows great poise. Demetria Jordan of Grimsley came in and grabbed two key loose rebounds that may not show up on the stat sheet but they were very crucial at that moment in the game. None of their players are flashy and they operate under the radar; but they do have great team chemistry.

All in all it was the way Championship games should be played and coming down to the wire was no exception. Sometimes what a team may lack in size they make up with heart and smarts and know how to finish a game. All the credit goes to the kids and the coaching staff that consist of Coach Simpson, Coach McClean and Coach Jackson who are very low key and they have the respect of their players.

Championship Game Box Stats:

Miranda Jenkins: 17 pts, 7 assts, 5 rebs, 3 blks,1stl
Brittany Drew: 13 pts, 5 assts,1 reb
Desiree Drayton: 13 pts, 2 assts, 11 rebs, 2 blks
Chell Jackson: 9 pts, 7 rebs, 1 stl
Portia Oakley: 6 pts, 2 assts, 5 rebs
Katrina Gibson: 6 pts, 2 assts, 1 rebs
Demetria Jordan: 2 rebs
Amerijah Jamison: DNP

Other games:
Galaxy 57 Midstate Magic 40
Galaxy 55 Carolina Rise 87
Galaxy 62 Lady Phoenix South 52 (Charlotte, SC, Virginia)
Galaxy 63 Greensboro Lady Phoenix 56
Galaxy 64 Carolina Rise 62 (Championship game)

  • Andy said,

    The Galaxy are a 16 and Under team playing up in the 18 and Under age bracket.

    That’s if you have any questions about the ages. The Galaxy are winning while playing up in the higher age group.

  • B-ball fan said,

    Above tournament was 16 & under. They had a very good tournament.

  • Andy said,

    They played up in the previous tournament.