Galaxy girls find the Pearls: Greensboro Galaxy wins 16u Championship at the Sportsplex

Posted by Andy Durham on May 26, 2009 at 10:41 am under Amateur | 9 Comments to Read

In a tournament sponsored by the Lady Phoenix that brought in many teams from many organizations this past Memorial Day weekend, saw the Greensboro Galaxy 16u girls team captured the championship trophy by beating one of the best teams in Virginia called Team Virginia 74-70 in overtime. But lets recap the games earlier that brought the Greensboro Galaxy to the Championship game.

The tournament started out with Pool Play on Saturday at 8 am against the very talented and large Lady Phoenix which features Dudleys State Championship and All Conference player Brionna Patterson and several other highly regarded players from the local area and South Carolina.( Pool Play is when teams play for positioning towards the championship rounds that really count. If you lose one game in the championship rounds you are eliminated no matter how well you did or did not do during Pool Play. If you are the top seed you have a greater chance of reaching the championship because you have less games to play. If you are not seeded high you will have to win three straight games to become Champions in one day). Galaxy did not get off to a great start by losing 57-45 to Lady Phoenix. Lady Phoenix hit some key shots and free throws to stave off any rally that Galaxy may have had. Galaxy was led by Miranda Jenkins (Eastern Guilford) 15 points and Brittanny Drew (Page) 14 points.

Galaxy Box Score:
Miranda Jenkins: 15 pts, 5 rebs, 1 asst, 3 blks, 1 stl
Brittany Drew: 14 pts, 4 rebs, 4 assts,1stl
Desiree Drayton: 6 pts, 9 rebs, 1 asst, 5 stls, 2 blks
Lakendra Wilkerson: 4 pts, 4 rebs, 2 stls
Katrina Gibson: 4 pts, 6 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl
Chell Jackson: 2 pts, 3 rebs
Valarie Beal: 1 reb
Hannah Talton: 1 asst
Amerijah Jamison: DNP
Portia Oakley: DNP

Game II later on that day saw Galaxy with more intensity and were much more awake as they played the much larger and taller Team Virginia. Galaxy used their quickness and defensive agressiveness to off set the Virginia team. Brittany Drew put in a stellar performance by knocking down 23 points and converting on all free throws by going a perfect 6-6. Her backourt mate for the past four years Miranda Jenkins scored 14 points and dished out 8 assists. Desiree Drayton had a double-double by scoring 15 points and 11 rebounds. Lakendra Wilkerson of Smith High chipped in 9 points in the paint and grabbed 5 rebounds. Galaxy won 72-57.

Galaxy Box Score:
Brittany Drew: 23 pts, 3 rebs, 2 assts, 2 stls
Desiree Drayton: 15 pts, 11 rebs, 4 assts, 2 stls,1 blk
Miranda Jenkins: 14 pts, 3 rebs, 8 assts, 3 stls
Lakendra Wilkerson: 9 pts, 5 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl
Chell Jackson: 4 pts, 6 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl
Katrina Gibson: 4 pts, 4 rebs, 2 assts,1 stl
Valarie Beal: 3 pts, 1 reb, 1 asst
Hannah Talton: 1 reb
Amerijah Jamison: DNP
Portia Oakley: DNP

Now that Pool Play was over and Galaxy going 1-1 it was time to turn the heat up because now every team was in a ONE and DONE situation.

Galaxy was now pitted against another very talented Lady Phoenix team whom have numerous years of AAU experience and at the high school level. Bre Davis of Carver. Kierra McIvor of Dudley. Shannon Buchannon of Southwest. Jamilla Pickard from Eastern Alamance. Sharp shooting point guard from Forsyth Country Day and many more. Galaxy took control of the game early and lead by a slim margin of 25-19 at half. Miranda Jenkins got on a roll and hit 5 out of her 6 next shots and converted on both free throws after missing the first three and Desiree Drayton who has improved immensly on her free throw shooting by going 7-10 and finishing with 11 points. Galaxy won 54-37. 1-0 in Championship play.

Galaxy Box Sore:’
Miranda Jenkins: 14 pts, 2 rebs, 3 stls
Desiree Drayton: 11 pts, 6 rebs, 3 assts, 4 stls,1 blk
Lakendra Wilkerson: 6 pts, 8 rebs, 5 stls, 3 assts
Katrina Gibson: 6 pts, 1 assts, 1 stl
Brittany Drew: 5 pts, 5 assts, 1 rebs, 1 stl
Amerijah Jamison: 4 pts, 5 rebs, 1 stl
Valarie Beal: 2 pts, 1 reb
Hannah Talton: 2 pts, 1 rebs

Game II was a game that many thought would never happen because this was a team Carolina All Stars and their All State and highly recruited guard from Forrestview Shannon Smith whom is being recruited by Conneticutt, Vanderbilt, NC State, UCF, UNCG, Michigan State, WCU and a host of others were supposed to be meeting Delaney Rudd’s Lady Phoenix in the championship game. Unfortunatley no one reminded Galaxy of that. It was a great crowd watching this game as Lady Phoenix was over at Northeast gym playing Team Virginia in the semifinal round. Shannon Smith got her squad off to a nice start by hitting her teams first two points and it looked like that prognostication of them being in the championship game was in progress. Chell Jackson scored to tie the game and from that point on Galaxy never looked back. They took a commanding half time lead of 42-34 and had stretched it to 18 points. Galaxy’s underestimated speed and quickness had the Carolina All Star fans in the stands asking who in the world is this team? The Galaxy forced Shannon Smith into several turnovers and she had a hard time defending Galaxy’s Miranda Jenkins who finished with 22 pts, 7 rebs, 6 assts, 4 stls,1 blk, which she made on Smith and rebounded it and went the length of the court to score. Desiree Drayton gave their inside people fits all day by adding a double-double by scoring 17 points, 11 rebs, 3 assts, 2 blks. There were two plays which she broke away for layups and looked back at Shannon Smith while in the air and converting as if to say “Remember me from the State Championship Game “.. Chell Jackson gave her best performance of the tournament by converting on 7-9 shots and finished with 16 points and made drives to the basket that had the crowd going “OOOOOH”. Brittany Drew knocked down 14 points,5 rebs,5 assts, 2 stls and one time grabbed a rebound between two trees. Lakendra Wilkerson nearly had a double-double by scoring 6 pts,6 rebs, 3 assts. Galaxy won 79-65. It was a great game to watch against a top notch team. Galaxy 2-0 in Championship Round.

Galaxy Box Score:
Miranda Jenkins: 22 pts, 7 rebs, 6 assts, 4 stls, 1 blk
Desiree Drayton: 17 pts, 11 rebs, 3 assts, 2 blks
Chell Jackson: 16 pts, 4 rebs, 1 asst, 2 stls
Brittany Drew: 14 pts, 5 rebs, 5 assts, 2 stls
Lakendra Wilkerson: 6 pts, 6 rebs, 3 assts
Amerijah Jamison: 2 pts, 4 rebs
Katrina Gibson: 2 pts, 1 rebs
Valarie Beal: 2 rebs
Hannah Talton: DNP
Portia Oakley: DNP

Now the moment of truth was at hand to see who would be crowned Champs. Any team that gets to this point had to be playing their best ball when it counted the most. The EYE of the TIGER and the will to win must superceed any tiredness and who were supposed to be where scenarios. Since the game was to be played at the Sports Complex no one knew who had won over at Northeast gym between Delaney Rudd’s Lady Phoenix and Team Virginia. The game was a 5:30 game and to ask the athletes to be ready to play right after both games were over, is asking a lot. But it is what it is and no team would have an advantage. Team Virginia was the team that walked into the gymnasium and not the host Lady Phoenix. Carolina All Stars departed very quickly and frustrated because they had been undefeated and were blowing teams out.

Now it was game time and the two teams in the finals were Team Virginia and Greensboro Galaxy whom were the best when it counted the most.. Team Virginia got off to a great start by knocking down three’s from all over the place and had a commanding 12 point lead before Galaxy mounted some sort of comeback to close the gap to 26-30 at the half. Both teams were tired after already playing two games earlier during the day. Team Virginia used its size to slow the game down and did an outstanding job of converting on the inside and making freethrows. Desiree Drayton helped keep the Galaxy in contention by converting on her first four field goals. Team Virginia looked like they had the game in hand until Miranda Jenkins hit two straight three-pointers and Amerijah Jamison spotted up and knocked down two three pointers. But the best was yet to come. Team Virginia was leading by 7 points 62-55 until Brittany Drew went to work. She knocked down a jumper in the lane to cut the lead to 62-57. She then hit a three pointer deep in the corner to close the gap to 62-60. But Team Virginia would not be denied as they scored and hit a free throw to lead 65-60 with 30 seconds left. If a cat had nine lives this was the moment that Galaxy needed to be that cat. Lakendra stole the ball and gave it to Brittany who was trapped at the top of the three point line and some how nudged through them and threw up a Hail Mary that banked off the glass and went in sending the crowd into a frenzy to make the score 65-63 with only 8 seconds to play. Galaxy forced a turnover but only had 5.2 seconds left on the clock and had to go the length of the court to have any chance of overtime or a win. Coach Simpson drew up the play. Katrina Gibson got the inbound pass and drove the length of the court and threw the ball up near the basket with 2.1 seconds left. She missed it and out of nowhere Desiree Drayton leaped and grabbed the rebound and put it back in as the buzzer sounded and now the score was 65-65 and headed for overtime. One could see that Galaxy had found new energy and had been used to situations like this in big games. In the overtime Galaxy out scored Team Virginia 9-5 and went on to win 74-70 as Desiree Drayton converted seven straight free throws against a tired Team Virginia who played exceptionally well. One key note in the game that shows class is when there was some controversy at the scoring table with the score at 52-51 in favor of Galaxy and Team Virginia refuting the score. The referees brought both coaches to the table and were not going to change the score based on the official books. They left it up to the Galaxy and the Galaxy voted as a team to give them the points and the lead, 53 to 52, if that what it was. They did not want to win a game based on controversy even though they were down. Championship teams always find a way to win and a way to win the right way. On the court. Galaxy 3-0 CHAMPS!

Galaxy Box Score:

Desiree Drayton: 25 pts, 11 rebs, 1 asst, 2 blks,1 stl
Brittany Drew: 15 pts, 2 rebs, 4 assts, 2 stls
Miranda Jenkins: 14 pts, 3 rebs, 4 assts, 5 stls, 2 blks
Lakendra Wilkerson: 9 pts, 3 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl
Amerijah Jamison: 8 pts, 3 rebs
Katrina Gibson: 3 pts, 2 assts
Chell Jackson: 2 rebs, 1 stl
Valarie Beal: 1 reb


  • Fan of galaxy said,

    Why is it that you always write about this team? There are other girl AAU teams that are doing well, but all I ever see if Galaxy 16U…for the record I am not a hater but a huge fan of these girls….know some of them personally…but this is just an observation.

  • Andy said,

    The people associated with this team are on the ball. They send us the info on a regular basis and we print it.

    I wish other teams would send us their info too and we will have it up on the site ASAP.

    We take and print all that we receive.

    Thank-you for the input and keep cheering on the girls……

  • JayP said,

    Great job to all local teams playing at the Greensboro Sportsplex facility during the weekend. Delaney Rudd sets it up right…

    Andy….
    My buddies and I were super focused on the game between the Galaxy team Shannon Smith’s team,when immediately, we all noted a HUGE mix-up reguarding who was guarding Shannon Smith. Desiree Drayton (Dudley) guarded Shannon Smith and did a extra, extra exceptional JOB. Desiree and Shannon went toe to toe, and eye to eye. Both are extremely talented. Desiree did a knock out job.

    Galaxy has long been a super talented team in the area sand one of our favorites to watch.

    Oh, almost forgot…Miranda Jenkins does a good job as well for (Eastern) . She’s good at shooting and will be a great play once she steps up her speed and defensive.

    Keep up the good work!

  • observer said,

    Fanof galaxy

    Can you please send in the information?

  • Big Doug said,

    Jay P

    How many points did Shannon Smith score?

  • JayP said,

    Big Doug:

    Can’t be exact on Shannon Smith’s total, she usually averages in the 20’s.

  • Fan said,

    Can someone help get these girls sponsored? They deserved to be seen.

  • BBallEnthusiast said,

    Congrats again to the Galaxy for an outstanding tournament! The Galaxy team is comprised of some very talented young ladies from schools in the area: Brittany Drew-Page, Miranda Jenkins-Eastern Guilford, Chell Jackson-Dudley, Desiree Drayton-Dudley, Katrina Gibson-Smith, and LaKendra Wilkerson-Smith. Guards Drew, Jenkins and Gibson are some of the best in the area and they can all put the ball in the basket. The Galaxy’s guard play is always superb but what makes thier success even more spectacular is the fact that thier tallest player is Lakendra Wilkerson standing 5’10”-5’11”. Wilkerson is the “X-factor” a defensive specialist (that can defend positions 1-5) with explosive scoring and the ability to turn defense into instant offense, Drayton is rebounding phenom with nose for the ball and the ability to get it up the floor in a hurry, and Jackson is toughminded forward with power and strength to wrestle the ball away from defenders and convert in transition. LaKendra, Desiree and Chell often match up with players that are much taller and larger (up to 6’2″) and do an excellent job of playing good “position defense” fronting the post and boxing out. LaKendra, Desiree and Chell will all be playing the G/SF positions at the collegiate level. They use thier toughness, skill, and speed to thier advantage and it is paying huge dividends for the Galaxy.

  • big daddy said,

    It is clear to see that whoever said miranda jenkins needs to improve her foot speed and her defense has been sleeping in a forest or clearly does not know basketball. You can plainly see that she is a leader. she not only does it in basketball, but in the classroom as well. she is the glue that keeps this team together.you can look at her stats and see the numbers speak for themselves.People that follow basketball should look at the success of eastern guilford womens program the last 8to 10 years. the galaxy basketball team is full of unselfish, and role players. It is a joy to watch the girls having fun, making the extra pass,diving for loose balls, and doing all the little thins that we do not see anymore. Do not seem suprised when you read in the future , the scholarship offers they may receive in the coming years.