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Saturday, March 21, 2009
Basketball (G)
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Centennial
Minneapolis South

Girls 4A Final: South vs. Centennial

By Kyle Stevens
Target Center - Minneapolis, Minn.

Tayler Hill, left, and Megan Nipe.

The Minnesota Army National Guard selects our Two Stars:
 
Tayler Hill
Minneapolis South
47 points, 12 rebounds

Megan Nipe
Centennial, Circle Pines
21 points, 8 rebounds
 
For more information on The Guards go to http://1800goguard.com/

Minneapolis South 65
Ameshia Kearney: 8 points
Team stats: 35 rebounds, 6 assists, 11 turnovers, 4 blocks, 4 steals

Centennial 57
Megan Waytashek: 12 points, 7 rebounds
Bridget Schuneman: 12 points 8 rebounds
Kahla Becken: 10 points, 4 assists

The Story Line
What more could one ask for? The top two teams in the biggest class playing for a championship in prime time. With the lower bowl of the Target Center near capacity, Minneapolis South took on Centennial. Of course, there was the game-within-the-game with South’s Tayler Hill on the court. Chants of “Ball-hog” from the Cougar faithful were quickly drowned out with a “You can’t stop her” roar from Hill’s classmates. In the end, it was South, and Hill, getting the last laugh in a 68-61 thriller.

Hill, who isolated herself against the Cougar defense often, pretty much willed her team to victory. At the line with three-and-a-half to go, you could see the relief when her first free throw tickled twine. When the second dropped as well, Hill walked to the bench with a six-point lead and a TV timeout to catch her breath.

It was a breather she needed as Hill played all 36-minutes of the game. She also tied the record for most points in a championship game with 47, set by Jordan's Brittany Chambers last year.

"Tayler was absolutely amazing tonight," Polars head coach Ahmil Jihad said. "What better way to go out than to display all of your skills."

Hill, a senior, will not be back next year. But it's where she goes next that will keep everyone's imagination at work.

The Quote
"Tayler sold popcorn, washed dishes, sold tickets and filled up the basket." - South head coach Ahmil Jihad on Tayler Hill's performance.

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