They played in New Orleans and Atlanta, Orlando, Fla., and Nashville, Tenn.
But the Georgia Sting were thrilled to end their summer tournament schedule with a win at home.
The girls AAU basketball team survived late turnover problems to beat Georgia Hoopstars Black Future Elite, 59-56, Tuesday to take third place in Peach State Basketball Elite 32 Summer Jam II’s TeamEBA bracket at Augusta State’s Christenberry Fieldhouse.
“People who couldn’t travel with us got a chance to watch us play for the first time,” Georgia Sting guard Malia Kency said.
The Georgia Sting wanted to end the busy summer – the team played in seven tournaments – with a championship, but Monday’s overtime loss took away that chance. Still, the local team made sure it closed with a victory.
Though the whole collection of area talent contributed to the win, Westside’s Jahmia Bradley and Briarwood’s Tiffany Pate provided key scoring bursts.
In the first half, Bradley put up nine of her team’s first 12 points, as she wasn’t afraid to dribble around defenders or drive through the lane to get buckets or earn free throws. She scored 14 points in the opening half on her way to a game-high 21 points.
Bradley did have clutch hoops in the second half, but Pate was the main offensive threat for the Georgia Sting.
Pate scored 15 points after the break, and on one play was the beneficiary of quick passes in transition. Starting with Pate’s first field goal of the second half, the Georgia Sting saw the advantage swell from just two points to 11.
But the Georgia Sting didn’t coast to the win; turnovers helped the other Georgia team attempt a comeback.
With passes either sailing out of bounds or getting stolen, the lead shrunk to three, with Genesis Perrymond hitting two big 3-pointers late.
Another Georgia Sting blunder gave their foes a chance to tie on the final possession, but the challenged 3 wasn’t close and the area players took third in their last event of the summer.
Pate said this was her favorite tournament.
“It’s nice to be home,” she said.