Basketball: Carolina Elite 16s claim AAU crown
The Carolina Elite 16-under girls basketball team went 7-1 in the AAU Division 2 Nationals in Orlando, Fla, from July 12-16.
The team lost only in pool play and won the championship with a 63-60 victory against the South Carolina Cougars.
The team went to Florida with only eight players ó seven off a 15-under team ó and with starting guard Paige McConlogue sporting a cast on her right hand. Head coach Chris Hardy was hospitalized by illness, but the team persevered.
The Elite was 2-1 in pool play, overcoming a 20-point halftime deficit in one game with a fullcourt press and scoring 32 unanswered points.
In the championship game against the Cougars, the Elite trailed by four points at halftime.
An offensive rebound by Jessica Heilig and a 3-pointer by Tori Woods with six seconds left provided the deciding points. The Elite defense forced a turnover with 1.8 seconds left.
Team members are Albemarle’s McConlogue; Salisbury’s Heilig, Ayanna Holmes, Ashia Holmes and Isis Miller; A.L. Brown’s Brianna McGuinn; Concord’s Woods; and Ashbrook’s Justin Taylor.
Coaches are Hardy, Darrius McGuinn and Michael Cross.
The Carolina Elite 16-under girls basketball team players: Ayanna Holmes, Ashia Holmes, Isis Miller, Jessica Heilig, Brianna McGuinn, Paige McConlogue, Tori Woods and Justin Taylor.
The Carolina Elite 16-under girls basketball team coaches: Darrius McGuinn, Michael Cross, Chris Hardy.