The Pembroke Pines Flanagan girls’ basketball team knows it needs to be challenged in the regular season if it hopes to reach state.
The Falcons answered a big challenge, taking down a tough Oakland Park Northeast team 64-41 in one of the marquee matchups at the first annual SUTS Report New Year’s Classic at Miami High on Saturday.
Forward/center and South Carolina signee Mikiah Harrigan scored 33 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked two shots to lead Flanagan (17-3).
She was dominant in the post and was able to spot up with her midrange game.
“She’s a matchup nightmare. I’m glad she plays for me,” Flanagan coach Latravis Bernard said.
Harrigan and Bernard were most proud, however, of her ability to find teammates out of double teams.
“We have multiple options,” Harrigan said. “Everybody stepped up big time.
“When they double me, we’ve got other people open. We trust each other.”
Frontcourt mate Tharalee Mompelas had 11 points and six rebounds, and point guard Jennifer Oramas was instrumental in several facets — scoring, distributing and forcing Northeast turnovers. She finished with 10 points, six assists and six steals.
“She’s our floor leader. She’s our most important player,” Bernard said. “She’s our engine that makes us go.
“When she does that, it’s very tough for us to be beat.”
After Northeast, which was without St. Joseph’s signee Nailah Delinois because of a shoulder injury, led the entire first quarter, Flanagan altered the momentum primarily by forcing the Hurricanes into jump shots.
Northeast (13-6) got 11 points and eight rebounds from Southern signee Daborah Hudson and 10 points from Ashley Santigene, who has signed with Marshall.
The contest was part of an eight-game marathon of basketball at Miami High. In addition to the six games preceding Flanagan’s victory, Ferguson (13-6) and Nova (13-5) squared off in another premier matchup along with a highly contested Miami High-Lourdes thriller.
▪ Miami High 52, Lourdes 50: The host Stingarees earned a hard-fought back-and-forth battle with their press and guard play keying the victory in the second half.
Forward Philneka Jackson registered a double-double of 11 points and 15 rebounds for Miami High, which was led in scoring by Andrisia Sweeting’s 16.
Lourdes, which was led by 14 points from Sophia Maristany, went on a 15-5 run at the end of the first half to go into halftime tied.
▪ Fort Lauderdale 74, Oxbridge Academy 59: Junior Keyanna Warthen, a consensus top-50 national prospect, led the Flying L’s with 28 points.
Tamiracle Taylor scored 16, and Melanie De Oleo added 15.
▪ Archbishop McCarthy 46, Westminster Academy 31: The tournament began Saturday morning with Kayla Cotera scoring 13 points and Reagan McCray adding 12 to lead McCarthy over Westminster Academy.
Seventh-grader Emma Wallhoff impressed with a game-high 16 points for Westminster.
▪ Cardinal Newman 74, St. Thomas Aquinas 35: Newman started the game on a 25-6 run and did not let up.
It was led by 18 points from Milan Morris and 16 points and six rebounds from Tytionia Adderly, an FGCU signee.
St. Thomas center Mary Katherine Moore, a Bucknell signee, was out for the Raiders, and Corinne Smith scored nine points.
▪ Grandview Prep 49, Hallandale 43: Destiny Walters’ 18 points were not enough as the Chargers fell to Boca Raton Grandview Prep.
Crystal Sharpe pitched in eight points.
▪ Vero Beach 51, Plantation American Heritage 43: Heritage was without Haley Duren, a Pepperdine signee, and was worn down by Vero Beach’s depth in the second half.
Vero Beach power forward/center Megan Gorman, signed to go to Yale, recorded 25 points and eight boards. The Patriots were led by Taylor Smith with 15 points.