CA Swish wins Nike Nationals

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NORTH AUGUSTA — The Riverview Park Activities Center gym had long been empty, but the CA Swish girls basketball players were still celebrating.

They wanted to savor this moment so long, one player whipped out a video camera and aimed it at the scoreboard, which flashed the result they traveled across the country to achieve here at the Nike AAU Nationals.

The Swish, from southern California, pulled away from Virginia’s Boo Williams 48-40 to win the Gold Division title Friday afternoon. The 24-team, four-day tournament mostly made up of players about to enter their senior season of high school concluded with the Swish’s win.

“This is what we were all going for,” Swish coach Russ Davis said.

Wing Lindsay Sherbert scored a game-high 14 points to lead the Swish. Bonni Samuelson added 12, including a pivotal 3-pointer in the final minute after Boo Williams had cut an 11-point lead to four points.

The Swish took two charges (this is considered rare in AAU play), dominated the offensive glass and worked some nice interior passes. Cassie Harberts , a 6-foot-2 center considered one of the best players in the country, and Sherbert combined for 17 of the Swish’s 34 rebounds. It outrebounded Boo Williams 34-13.

The Swish led for practically the entire game. It opened up a double-digit lead with 10 minutes left in the second half and refused to let Boo Williams’ press dissolve that lead. Unlike the Nike Peach Jam — the marquee boys AAU event played here every July — the girls played with a 30-second shot clock, which made a late lead more difficult to sustain.

Boo Williams twice pulled to within four points in the final minute, but could get no closer.

“I don’t think we were overmatched — we’ve only lost one game all year,” said Marcellus “Boo” Williams, a former college player at St. Joseph’s (Pa.) who coaches the team that bears his name. “It was one of (those) days, one of (those) bad days. We didn’t hit our shots, and they are a good team.”

Boo Williams, which scored 60 points in a semifinal rout of the Cal Storm, managed just eight points in the first 14 minutes and played from behind the rest of the game. Chloe Wells, a guard from suburban Raleigh, N.C., led Boo Williams with 13 points.

Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425

or matt.middleton@augustachronicle.com.


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