Oakland Middle School's girls advanced to the TMSAA State Tournament game following a 41-26 defeat of Richview on Friday.
“I could tell we had jitters in the first half, but when we settled in and stuck to our gameplay we played a really good game,” Oakland Middle Lady Chargers coach Candace Thompson said. “That was a tough game to win and they played like they deserve to be in the championship, but so does the opponent we play and we need to be just as focused as we were today.”
Lady Charger Chloe Phillips contributed a double-double of 15 points, 10 rebounds from the post. Anslie Hopkins came close with eight points and 10 boards while adding three assist and three steals.
Richview stayed within single digits through three quarters, thanks to guard play from Malon Smith and Imari Berry as both contributed 10 points apiece.
Berry’s off-ball speed and great ball handling presented challenges for the Lady Chargers. Nonetheless, Oakland’s defense made the proper adjustments to outscore the Cowboys 16-5 in the last quarter.
“(Berry) is one of the best girls in our area, and seeing her on this stage shows how good of a player she is,” Richview coach John King said. “It’s our first loss of the year and that is tough take right now, but this was a special experience. I want us to come out (in our consolation game) and not give up because we’ve had a good season and I am proud of getting this far.”
OAKLAND (41): Chloe Phillips 15, Anslie Hopkins 8, Kayivary Scales 8, Zariyah Murray 4, Amelia Keating 4, Shavanna Rowe 1, Kalise Bass 1
RICHVIEW (26): Imari Berry 10, Malon Smith 10, Reaghan Smith 6