The Stingarees came away with a 39-35 victory and will face Lourdes on Friday at 6 p.m. to determine the tournament champion.
With the score tied at 35 and 20 seconds remaining, Miami High’s Amanda Mendoza, who finished with a game-high 14 points, went to the free-throw line and calmly sank both shots of a one-and-one to give the Stings a two-point lead. She then did the same with 4.6 seconds to play to make it a two-possession game and effectively put the score out of reach.
“She’s got ice in her veins,” Miami High coach Sam Baumgarten said. “I knew the game was over when she went to the line. She rarely misses.”
Sagemont (8-4) had a chance at getting the ball back down by two before Mendoza went to the line the second time. Miami High center Beatrice Mompremier, who had 10 points and seven rebounds, missed the front end of a one-and-one, but in chasing down the rebound the Lions knocked the ball out of bounds and it remained with the Stings.
Miami High (13-3) trailed by as many as nine points, 14-5, in the first half. The Stings then went on a 9-0 run before halftime to even up the score at 14 in what was a physical, low-scoring, grind-it-out battle. Erica Correa led the Lions with 12 points and nine rebounds. Ebony Griffin only managed eight points while playing less minutes than she usually would because of foul trouble.
Friday’s Miami High Holiday Classic championship game between Lourdes and the Stingarees could be a Class 8A regional final preview.
• MH (13-3): Mendoza 14, Mompremier 10, Smith 4, Reid 3, Kimbrough 2, Pierre 2, Guerrero 2, Johnson 1, Sweeting 1. SAG (8-4): Cole 3, Black 5, Rucker 3, Pierre 4, Griffin 8, Correa 12. Halftime: 14-14. Three-pointers: Griffin. Rebounds: Correa 9. Assists: Reid 3. Steals: Pierre 3. Blocks: Griffin 3. Intentional: Johnson.
• Lourdes 68, Gulliver 38: The Lourdes girls’ basketball team improved to 15-1 with a convincing victory against Gulliver at the Miami High Holiday Classic.
The Bobcats methodically built their lead throughout the course of the game without any significant runs. They will now face Miami High in the tournament’s championship game Friday.
Point guard Tiffany Suarez, a Virginia recruit, led the Bobcats with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Lourdes moved the ball efficiently, accumulating 16 assists.
Center Kiara Palmer led the team with six assists to go with her seven points and six rebounds.
Gulliver’s Jacquar Westbrooks had a game-high 24 points and six steals in the losing effort.
• LOU (15-1): Suarez 22, Farinas 10, Jordan 11, Palmer 7, Minervino 2, Vidal 6, Nunez 8, Buitrago 2. GUL: Westbrooks 24, Campbell 6, Nixon 4, Deutch 2, Bahadue 2. Halftime: LOU 35-21. Three-pointers: Vidal 2, Westbrooks 2. Rebounds: Suarez 8. Assists: Palmer 6. Steals: Westbrooks 6. Blocks: Nixon 3.
MORE GIRLS’ BASKETBALL
• All Florida Paper Holiday Shootout – Grandview Prep 66, Northwestern 53 – GP: Canete 28, Nance 16, Walsh 14, Jones 6, Newsome 2. NW: Reynolds 16, Kelly 14, Curry 7, Mainor 5, Griffin 4, Nottage 3, Bellamy 2.
• All Florida Paper Holiday Shootout – Boca Raton 52, Fort Pierce Central 51 – BR: Southards 16, O’Connor 13, McKee 12, Maloney 7, Gayle 2, Fullingsworth 2. FP–C: Walker 13, Knight 12, Baitley 8, Rhohieff 7, Smith 4, Louis 4, Williams 3, Cummings 2.