BROOKLYN, NY - In the lone Conrad McRae Youth League girls semifinal to be played, New Heights (Chez), led by the 23 points of Maryland commit Kiah Gillespie (Capital Prep, CT '15), were able to coast from start to finish to advance to Sunday's title tilt, 52-31 over the Riverside Hawks.
Gillespie got her squad off to a quick start with 10 first quarter points, stepping out and knocking down three jump shots in the midrange to put Riverside in an early hole. The hole continued to dig even more, just when Riverside felt they were righting the ship. Closing the gap to 19-11 late in the 1st half, Toucan Billings (Bishop Loughlin '16) was able to create turnovers off of harassing pressure defense, going in and scoring 6 points in the final mine of the half, and New Heights went up 25-11 at the half.
Sky Patterson (Bishop Loughlin '17) and Mimi Reid (Murry Bergtraum '17) came out of the half and each knocked down jumpers to start the half, upping the lead to 19 early in the 3rd. A bright spot for Riverside was Jayla Jones-Pack (St. Anthony's '16) as the interior presence was able to get on the board and start to control the paint and get in excellent positions to score, but like many of her teammates, it just was not their day, missing point blank shots inside, and it was 40-19 after three.
New Heights pushed the lead to as many as 25 in the 4th, before easing up late and taking the 52-31 win to move on to Sunday and the right to play for the Conrad McRae Youth League Girls Title.
Gillespie had 23 and Billings added 14 as well in the win for New Heights, while Jones-Pack led the way for Riverside with 11.
New Heights will have to wait until Sunday afternoon to find out who they will play for the championship. Rain started to come down and after waiting for 90 minutes, the coaches and league commissioner Anton Marchand agreed to move the semifinal game between D1 Bound and the Lady Bulls until Sunday at 12pm.
It should be an exciting Championship Day on Sunday, and with better weather and all teams promising to be on hand, expectations are high for a great day overall.
Sunday's Conrad McRae Youth League Championship Day Schedule :
Girls Semifinal- Lady Bulls vs. D1 Bound- 12pm
Girls Championship- New Heights (Chez) vs. Lady Bulls/D1 Bound winner- 3pm