In the open division host TNBA pulled out a 61-59 win over Toledo Thunder in the championship game.
With the score tied and 1.4 seconds to play, Olmsted Falls’ Kerry Gasper inbounded the ball to Magnificat sophomore and Avon Lake resident Lissy Roggenburk, who hit the winning shot at the buzzer.
TNBA was playing catch-up for much of the game after the Toledo Thunder stormed out to a 9-1 lead.
“There was more competition here than you get at most local tournaments,” TNBA coach and North Coast Cup tournament director Kevin McNamara said. “But our kids know how to play basketball. We had a lot of players on the court who are going to earn Division I scholarships and they showed what they can do today.”
North Royalton’s Alison Smolinski led TNBA with 23 but was on the bench at the end after fouling out. Toledo Thunder’s Akienreh Johnson, a University of Michigan recruit, led all scorers with 26 points.
“There is a reason why she is already committed to a Big Ten school. She can do it all,” McNamara said. “She sees the court well and is an excellent shooter. It was a challenge for us just to try to contain her.”
Gasper finished with 12 points.
In the 10th-grade division, 4Kids didn’t have an answer for the Motor City Top Ten, falling 43-26 in the championship game. 4Kids was led by Westlake’s Monica Fury, who scored 16 points. Fury had six of her team’s eight field goals against a stifling defense.
“I knew our defense could turn into offense for us so I needed to make sure I had the right girls coming off the bench to keep up that defensive intensity,” Motor City Top Ten coach Dwayne Scott said. “We came out sluggish in all three games today but eventually we turned it on and eventually I think we wore them down.”
Both teams had a rough road just to get to the final. In the semifinals Motor City Top Ten had to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit and 4Kids nearly squandered a seven-point lead in the final 80 seconds to hold on for a nailbiting 80-79 win over TNBA.
“I think we were a little tired after that TNBA game, but that’s no excuse. We’ve been in situations like this before and we know what we need to do,” Fury said. “And give them credit, they are good defenders.
“It was a hard game. We felt like we were getting fouled a lot and we weren’t getting any calls. Once we got off to a bad start it almost felt like most of the girls on the team started mentally shutting down.”
Motor City Top Ten, which led 20-5 9:24 into the game, was led by Mamedior Dioum with 13 points.
It was the second year in a row that Scott coached a championship team at the North Coast Cup. Last year his team won the open division championship.
“I like this tournament. It’s well-organized, well-run and for a regional tournament there is some good competition,” said Scott, who will be taking his team to a tournament in Greensboro, N.C., in two weeks. “The facilities we get to play in are good and we’ve been fortunate to do well the past two years. We look forward to being back next year.”
Scott is also the head girls basketball coach at Ypsilanti (Mich.) Community High School.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2nd Annual Adidas North Coast Cup Champions
10th grade: Motor City Top Ten
9th grade: Toledo Thunder
8th grade: Toledo Thunder
7th grade: Ohio Xtreme
6th grade: Ohio Phenom
5th grade: Cleveland Old School Association
4th grade: Cleveland Old School Association