Saturday, March 22, 2014

KIPP girls hoop wins charter school title

KIPP girls hoop wins charter school title

Courtesy Photo


Alex Huffman led KIPP Academy to a Massachusetts Charter School Athletic Organization championship, scoring her 1,000th career point during the tourney run.

Posted: Monday, March 17, 2014 3:00 am

By Joe Gill / For The Item | 0 comments

Going into Sunday's Massachusetts Charter School Athletic Organization Basketball Tournament Championship Game, KIPP Academy only had one thing on its mind and that was capturing its third title in a row. Standing in the way of a potential Panthers three-peat was a familiar foe, the Wizards of Prospect Hill Academy. Led by 26 points by Alex Huffman and 18 points by Pleilerkay Gaye, the Panthers cruised to a 63-35 win at UMass-Boston.

"Prospect Hill does a great job packing a tight zone and slowing us down offensively, "said KIPP Academy coach Nat Jones. "After a while, we were able to tire them out and then pick up our game."

Huffman scored 10 of her team's first 17 points, including the first six points of the game. The Wizards continued to fight back and forth with the Panthers. The Panthers pulled away as they concluded the half on a 14-3 run. In the first half the Panthers held the Wizards to only four field goals.

The second half was extremely similar to the first half as the first portion of it saw back and forth action until KIPP Academy put together a 12-0 run late in the half, which sealed the deal for the Panthers.

"They (the Wizards) are taller than us, but (teammates) Marie (Kamba) and Helen (Maldonado) played big and boxed out well," said Huffman, who was named the tournament MVP for the second time in as many years. "It feels pretty good to win again, especially for the people who doubted us this year. We kept our name and lived up to our reputation."

The MVP award for Huffman comes just a day after she scored her 1,000th career point.

"It feels pretty good to get my 1,000th point as a junior, especially when most people do it as a senior," said Huffman.

Huffman joins Catherine Stinson and Diondra Woumn from Lynn English, and Jennie Mucciarone and Brianna Rudolph from St. Mary's as 1,000-point scorers in the City of Lynn for the 2013-2014 season.

"It goes without saying she is the best player that I have ever coached," said Jones. "I am pretty lucky. I have coached her for six years and she is the best manager of a team on the court that I have seen in high school, including the Division 1 or 2 players that I have seen. I would not trade her as she is a luxury that no one else has. My complementary players are exceptionally better because she is on the court."

KIPP Academy finishes the season with a 14-1 record.

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