There were many teams that invaded Greensboro and High Point for the annual girls AAU State games for State positioning in many different age categories. This type of competition is the best of the best State wide; Some teams play up in age categories,some play down and some play in just their age group. When ever a team play out of their age group, the competition tends to be more competitive and more intense. A team chance of survival are many times non existent and teams tend to get beat pretty handily early on.
Greensboro Galaxy is one of those teams that is playing up this year against very formidable opponents that many times look like the land of the giants; Teams such as the Carolina Rise-Brown, Ashville Lady Royals, Garner Flames, Lady Phoenix South, Lady Phoenix Purple,NC Flight, Hoop City Heat, Carolina Lady Elite, Lady Phoenix South-Taylor, Union County Xtreme, Carolina Force, Wilkes Diamonds, Greensboro Lady Gaters and Rocky Mount Lady Raptors Carolina Rise-Blue.
Galaxy got off to a great start by beating Wilkes Diamonds 73-54 on Friday evening. They led at the half 36-19 and never looked back as every player got considerable playing time. Desiree Drayton of Dudley led the charge with a double-double 20 points, 17 rebounds, 8 steals. Portia Oakley knocked down 14 points along with help from Page Highschool teammate Brittany Drew who hit 13 points and had 6 assists. Amerijah Jamison of Eastern Guilford had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds with help from Eastern backcourt mate Miranda Jenkins who had 7 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Chell Jackson of Dudley snagged down 12 rebounds and added 6 points. Hannah Talton who will be attending Page as a freshmen contributed 2 points and 2 rebounds and played great defense while getting great minutes . Valarie Beal of High Point Wesleyan dished out two assists.
Galaxy knocked off the Lady Phoenix team from Charlotte 55-51 in a close game over at High Point Central on Saturday. Galaxy used a great balance attack with Brittany scoring 18 pts and 3 rebs. Desiree had a double-double with 10 pts, 13 rebs, 3 assts, 3 blks. Chell had a double-double 10 pts, 11 rebs. Valarie hit two three’s from long distance and finished with 7 pts. Miranda finished with 7 pts, 8 rebs, 8 assts, 5 stls, 2 blks. Portia scored 3 pts, 4 rebs, 3 stls, 1 asst. Amerijah snatched down 3 rebs and had 2 stls.
Galaxy played a very talented and huge Ashville Lady Royals which they led at half 41-36. The Rolyals started hitting from long range and scoring inside to eventually take control of the game to win 84-73. The Royals would go on to play in the Championship game and lose to the Carolina Rise whom the Galaxy upset a month ago in the Regionals 64-62. Galaxy was led by Desiree with 19 pts, 14 rebs, 4 assts, 2 blks. Miranda 16 pts, 11 assts, 5 rebs, 3 stls, 3 blks. Brittany 12 pts, 3 rebs. Chell chipped in 12 pts, 5 rebs,1 assts, 1 stl. Amerijah battled the much taller squad for 12 rebs and 6 pts. Valarie finished with 5 pts, 1 assts. Portia scored 3 pts, 3 rebs, 2 assts, 1 stl.
Galaxy was now positioned to play for either 5th place or sixth or have a chance to play another game for either third or fourth. They played the Union County Extreme and led at half 39-30 before pulling away and winning 73-56. Brittany was on fire and hit 6 three pointers and finished with 20 pts 4 assts, 1 reb, 1 stl. Desiree continued her ability to score by hitting 18 pts, 12 rebs, 4 stls, 3 assts, 1 blk. Valarie got the team off to a great start by nailing two out of three three pointers early on and finished with 3 three pointers and 9 pts to go along with 1 asst. Miranda had 8 pts, 11 assts, 6 rebs, 4 stls, 2 blks. Amerijah hit 7 pts, 9 rebs, 1 blk, 1 stl. Chell scored 4 pts, 5 rebs, 2 stls. Katrina Gibson returned to action after missing the first few games and scored 4 pts, 3 rebs, 2 assts, 1 stl. Hannah scored 2 pts and played solid defense.
Galaxy was now in position to finished either 3rd or 4th. Garner Flames which had the two twin towers on the insides jumped out to a 24 point lead and led by 20 at the half 42-22. Their fans were excited and were under the assumption that this was going to be a easy blow out. Even some of the locals whom teams may have lost early on were under that impression maybe except for one mom who was there cheering them on, even though her daughter was a part of another organization. The Coaches got their half time speech together and the second half was a whole different ball game. This squad with a solid nucleus have been on big stages before and quitting was never an option just because they were way down. Average teams tend to fold under such circumstances; Not this group. They rallied from 24 points down to close the gap to 4 points with less than a minute to play and had a chance to close it to two with 30 seconds left but missed a layup. Garner fans whole expression had change and one could see that their players were beginning to collapse but they held on and won 80-71. It was a great game by both squads and it showed that when you have heart and determination and a team commitment towards winning and that you are use to winning, great things tend to happen. Chell led the way with 16 pts, 9 rebs, 3 stls, 2 assts. Brittany knocked down some big three’s and finished with 15 pts. 3 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl. Desiree finished with 13 pts, 8 rebs, 3 assts, 2 blks, 2 stls. Miranda, 9 pts, 8 assts, 2 rebs, 1 stls, 1 blk. Portia 5 pts, 2 rebs, 1 stls. Amerijah 6 pts, 4 rebs, 2 stls. Katrina 4 pts, 2 assts, 3 stls, 2 rebs. Valarie, 3 pts. Hannah 1 asst.
All in all it was a great tournament and it was Greensboro Galaxy highest finish ever in the States for an older team. Some thought it was ludicrous for Galaxy to play up this year and be able to compete; Fortunately no statues have ever been erected for critics. The squad continues to play well at the highest levels and now colleges are asking for their July schedule because of the great job that they did at the Deep South Showcase in Raleigh and Chapel Hill and their Super job at the Nationals of a year ago. Undersize they may be and under manned. But when that ball goes up, a team had better come ready to play becuase Galaxy team is still defying the odds with an excellent mixture of student- athletes that predicate themselves on doing a great job each time out. Finishing 4th in the State and playing up is not bad at all.