It was pretty obvious who played the biggest role in yet another critical Miami High girls’ basketball victory Friday.
“You see this tall girl right here,” said Boca Raton coach Nhu Nguyen as he walked past Stingarees’ 6-foot, 4-inch senior center Beatrice Mompremier leaving the postgame press conference. “This is why we lost.”
Mompremier, Miami High’s All-American, put together another memorable performance, finishing with 21 points (on 10-of-14 shooting), 21 rebounds and eight blocks to lead the Stingarees to a 63-51 win over Boca Raton in a Class 8A state semifinal at The Lakeland Center.
The performance matched a season-high for rebounds for Mompremier, a Baylor University signee who will compete in the McDonald’s All-America game in Chicago next month, and secured Miami High a spot in the state final for the third year in a row.
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“Beatrice is a worker and she’s like a sponge,” Miami High coach Sam Baumgarten said. “To teach something once and the kid applies it, you can’t beat that. I told her as a freshman, she could be one of the best players in the country. Look at her now. She’s pretty special.”
Miami High (28-3) will play Orlando Colonial, a 66-42 winner over Flagler Palm Coast Friday, in the Class 8A championship game Saturday at 1:35 p.m. The Stingarees beat Colonial in the 2013 state semifinals on a buzzer beater by former player Melsheree Reid.
“We know [Colonial] will be prepared to beat us after the way we beat them two years ago,” Miami High coach Sam Baumgarten said. “We’re expecting an all out war out there tomorrow night.”
Boca Raton (27-5), a team with no seniors and only three juniors that was making its first appearance at state, kept up with Miami High for most of the first half. The Bobcats successfully denied the ball to Mompremier on a few occasions when the Stingarees tried to get their star center chances in the paint.
The lead changed seven times early in the second quarter until the Stingarees used a 10-2 run to take the lead for good once Mompremier powered her way to the basket twice. Annelisse Vargas followed with a couple of clutch shots.
Miami High’s guards helped open up a comfortable lead in the second half with clutch shooting and solid play in transition.
Guard Alondra Angulo finished with 16 points and Annette Dukes had 11.
The Stingarees led by as many as 17 in the third quarter. Boca Raton made one final push behind guards Rachel Levy, Grace Marko and Tracey Kemp, who combined for 41 of the Bobcats’ 51 points.
The lead dwindled to seven with a little over a minute remaining, but Angulo spotted up and hit a three-pointer that effectively put the game out of reach.
“Alondra isn’t afraid to take those shots,” said Baumgarten of Angulo who transferred to Miami High before this season. “Even though she hasn’t been on this stage before, I’m not scared to draw up a play for her like that and trust her to hit that shot.”
MHS (28-3): Mompremier 21, Sweeting 6, Angulo 16, Vargas 7, Paschal 2, Dukes 11.
BR (27-5): Waters 4, Levy 13, Marko 14, Kemp 14, Ballesteros 2, Pratte 4.
Half: MHS 33-27. Fouled out: Kemp, Marko. Three-pointers: Marko 4, Levy 2, Angulo 2, Vargas. Rebounds: Mompremier 21. Assists: Vargas 6. Steals: Kemp 4. Blocks: Mompremier 8.