Published 9:06 pm Friday, July 1, 2011
Team Evolve wins AAU crown over Cincy team
HAMPTON — Suffolk’s Team Evolve left no doubt in winning the national championship in the 2011 AAU Fifth Grade Division II Girls Basketball National Championship with a dominating 52-29 win over the Cincinnati Heat Premier Friday at the Boo Williams Sportsplex.
There was very little doubt during any of Team Evolve’s six victories through the tourney. There was no doubt about Team Evolve’s defense. There was no doubt about the Suffolk squad making every opponent try to keep up with it.
With an average margin of victory of 22.2 points, Team Evolve rolled through the nationwide field and saved its best for last against previously-undefeated Cincinnati.
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“They really put it all together. I think the chemistry is just there with this team,” said Team Evolve head coach Kevin Davis.
Team Evolve led wire-to-wire in the championship game. With all-out defense straight from the opening tip, Team Evolve jumped out to an 8-2 lead a couple minutes into the game.
“We came out with man-to-man defense. We pressured full-court man-to-man and made sure to put pressure on their primary ball-handler,” Davis said.
The Heat worked its way back into the game for a few minutes, closing to within an 11-8 Team Evolve edge as the quarter was expiring.
Getting a defensive board with 0:06 and running, point guard Makayla Dickens rushed the ball to midcourt, let a 40-foot shot fly at the horn and got nothing but net.
Those three points sparked Team Evolve, not that the team was in need of more energy. With outstanding defense really paving the way, Team Evolve kept going for a 10-0 run.
Center Amesha Miller scored off an offensive rebound, followed by Dickens driving along the baseline for a short jumper, followed by Camry Harris finishing a break with a running shot down the center of the lane for a 21-8 Team Evolve lead with 4:25 left in the first half.
Briana Autrey was already taking over the game with her defensive play. For the second straight day, Autrey’s play led coach Davis to call her “a one-man press.”
“A lot of time, she’s a press for us all by herself,” Davis said.
Autrey added all sorts of offense in the final game. She scored the last six points of the half for a 27-17 Team Evolve lead at the break.
“This team just wants to go out, I’ve never seen it in a team like this, girls or boys, a team that wants to put pressure on any team they play, every game, right from the start,” Davis said.
Team Evolve steadily stretched the lead over the last two periods. Autrey drained a three from the top of the key for a 32-19 lead three minutes into the second half. Autrey went on to total a game-high 19 points.
Team Evolve led 40-24 going to the fourth quarter and Davis got a rare opportunity for a national championship game, the chance to clear his bench and let his starters leave to a standing ovation with 1:50 remaining and a 52-26 lead.
Dickens finished with 15 points and Harris added 12 points. Team Evolve, whose practice home is Lakeland, is made up of Camry Harris, Cammy Reid, Kaylah Brown, Madi Tucker, Mykaylyn Davis, Briana Autrey, TaiAsia McDuffie, Amesha Miller, Angel Thomas, Makayla Dickens, Jayla Hemingway, Neecole Brown and Lenah Clements.
Team Evolve’s Run to the Championship
Suffolk’s Team Evolve girls basketball team won the 2011 AAU Fifth Grade Division II National Championship Tuesday-Friday in Hampton, going 6-0 to do so.
Group play – Team Evolve 41, New Hampshire Flames 19
Group play – Team Evolve 49, Matrix Green 9
Round of 16 – Team Evolve 53, New Orleans Lady Trojans 28
Quarterfinal – Team Evolve 44, Syracuse Nets 36
Semifinal – Team Evolve 44, Lady Clippers 29
Final – Team Evolve 52, Cincinnati Heat Premier 29