Defenders advance to Championship @W 4th Street League!

It was a hot and sunny Thursday afternoon, the bustle of 6th avenue raged in the background, as Arizona Pearson emerged from underground at the subway station on the corner of 3rd street and 6th ave in New York City. This is not uncommon for the man who runs the NIKE NYC High School League at W. 4th Street (The Cage). Indeed this looked like just another day, another girls semi-final game, just something to do as it has been done for years. But today’s game would certainly not be just another game. @4:30 p.m. two teams would square off for the coveted chance to advance to Saturday’s championship game. On this day the FBC Defenders were facing a very talented and well coached Baseline team from NYC. The Defenders would go into this contest with only 7 brave soldiers (Jasmine Walker, Shalette Brown, Taryana Kelly, Jasmine Phelps, Erika Hairston, Ariel Donza, and Jasmine Lombard) in uniform but knowing that they were capable of getting a win if they just maintained their composure. As the game began, Baseline jumped out on top 19 to 10 after the 1st qtr. Unprecedented at W 4th Street, both coaches acted like it was halftime and took their teams to the W 4th street end of the court to talk between quarters. Whatever coach Stone said to his team must have stirred something deep in their souls because the second quarter was all about the “Defenders” playing defense and attacking the basket. The score at the half was 30 to 28 and the Defenders knew they were close enough to make a run at the win.

The third quarter started was a nip and tuck kind of quarter and the Defenders finally started making their free throws. Jasmine Walker started to pick up her game and that was exactly what the team needed. Until that point the team had been carried on the offensive end by Brown(9), Phelps(7), and Lombard(6). The play of Erika Hairston, Ariel Donza, and Jasmine Lombard would prove to be key on the defensive end as Baseline suddenly found it difficult to get open looks. But If the team was going to get a win now that the defense was clicking they would need another scorer. After 3 quarters the Defenders found themselves still down 43 to 45. That is when coach Stone asked what proved to be the most important question of the game. He queried “So is this how we are to go out? Is this how you want your last game of this season to end?” The look in every player’s eyes screamed a resounding NO! So coach said to the team if you want to go to the championship, you will have to just go out there and take it! Final score Defenders 63, Baseline 62!

Box Score:
Shalette Brown 21pts, Jasmine Phelps 16, Jasmine Walker 11, Jasmine Lombard 11, and Taryana Kelly 4!

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08 2011

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