Miami High proved Friday night why it is favored to successfully defend its state championship in Class 8A girls’ basketball.
Senior center and Baylor signee Beatrice Mompremier’s 28-point, 21-rebound effort propelled the host Stingarees to their third consecutive GMAC championship with a 59-40 win over Ferguson.
“I told the girls congratulations because three county titles in a row is a special feat for us,” Miami High coach Sam Baumgarten said.
“But we know if it works out how it should, we would end up playing them again, and at Ferguson, so we need to go back to the drawing board and be ready.”
Miami High (22-3), ranked No. 4 in the state in Class 8A in the latest FABC/Source Hoops poll, played like a team worthy of the top spot Friday, scoring the first seven points of the game and leading throughout.
The highly anticipated matchup with Ferguson (21-4), ranked No. 7, was a rematch of last year’s Region 4-8A final won by the Stingarees. The two teams could meet again in this year’s regional final as well.
“To hold them to 40 points is pretty good with the amount of shots they take in a game,” Baumgarten said.
“Still, we know we have to do some things better and throw some different things at them [defensively] next time to keep them in check.”
Mompremier’s dominance on both offensively and defensively proved too much for the visiting Falcons.
Mompremier hurt Ferguson with her drives to the basket and with some turnaround jumpers. When the Falcons put her on the foul line, Mompremier made them pay as well, making 9 of 10 free-throw attempts.
On the defensive end, Ferguson guards were often denied by Mompremier, who finished with seven blocks.
“Beatrice was just phenomenal,” Baumgarten said. “She was everywhere, doing so much for us. She fought through all the bumps and grabs, and hitting those shots is next-level stuff. She was in a slump recently at the foul line, so that’s big.”
Miami High’s guards gave it the early edge.
Annalisse Vargas hit all three of her three-point shots in the early going to give the Stingarees a cushion. Alondra Angulo had 11 points and Andrisa Sweeting had five assists.
Ferguson’s potent guard combination of Annie Osceola and Giolibeth Perez accounted for 38 of the Falcons’ 40 points.
Osceola finished with 28 points and hit five three-pointers, but Perez struggled with her shooting and had only 10 points.
Miami High led by as many as 18 in the third quarter before Ferguson closed the gap to 10 at 43-33 early in the fourth.
Miami High used a 14-3 surge to pull away moments later.
“Our guards were huge for us,” Baumgarten said. “Vargas hit those big threes and felt good.
“She’s special, and we’ve been waiting for that from her.”
MHS (22-3): Angulo 11, Sweeting 1, Vargas 9, Paschal 3, Dukes 7, Mompremier 28. FER (21-4): Osceola 28, Perez 10, Justiniano 1, Rodriguez 1. Half: MHS 25-13. Three-pointers: Osceola 5, Perez, Angulo, Vargas 3, Paschal. Rebounds: Mompremier 21. Assists: Sweeting 5. Blocks: Mompremier 7. Fouled out: Paschal, Perez. Technical: Ferguson bench.