Lady Patriots take 3rd at Queen City Clash Tournament

Patriots Braylyn Milton driving to the basket. (Ron Morris)
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The Independence varsity girl’s basketball team finished in 3rd place taking the bronze when they defeated Pinewood Prep, Summerville, SC in the consolation game with a 53-46 victory at the Queen City Clash Tournament recently over the holidays on Saturday December 23rd.

Braylyn Milton, the freshman standout scored 29 points the biggest night of her young high school career.  She had been averaging 15.1 points per game entering the tournament and averaged 20.3 points per game in the tournament.  She is currently ranked in the top 150 scoring leaders in the state with a great deal of upside potential with a lot of hard work ahead of her.  She certainly has the right coach in Lauren Galvani at Indy who was an outstanding high school player and accomplished collegiate athlete.

A solid supporting cast including Sharonda Smith 9 points, Ayanna Anderson 5 points and Laura Flynn 4 points all made nice contributions with multiple rebounds, assists and steals that led the Lady Patriots to their victory.

The game was close until the 4th period when Indy outscored the Panthers 18-6 to close out the game finishing strong and achieving the 7 point win.

Independence vs. Lincoln Charter – December 21st 

In the opening round of the tournament the Lady Patriots defeated Lincoln Charter 59-33 and the victory never seemed to be in doubt.  At the half Indy had a comfortable 25-14 lead even with Braylyn Milton in foul trouble with 3 fouls and scoring only 3 points.  The other Lady Patriots stepped up and produced nicely, especially the trio of Sharonda Smith, Anderson and Flynn.

Patriots Ayanna Anderson making a move to the hoop.

In the 3rd period Milton played her game and scored 10 points without committing another foul leading the charge extending the Indy lead to 43-24 going into the 4th period.  In the final period Indy outscored the Lady Eagles 16 to 9 completing the victory.

The top scorers for Indy were Braylyn Milton 18 points, Sharonda Smith 13, Laura Flynn 12, and Anderson 11 points.  Flynn who was named player of the game also had 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal.

Independence vs. West Charlotte – December 22nd 

This particular game was a difficult match-up for the Lady Patriots as they had no answer for Tykema Nesbit the big strong senior forward for the Lions from West Charlotte.  She just crashed the boards, scored 12 points, added 8 rebounds, blocked 5 shots and led fast breaks leading to Lion points on the scoreboard.  Also, D’Nya Hamilton a junior guard had a very solid game making a big contribution for the win scoring 17 points.  Actually, senior Brianna McManus 6 rebounds, 5 points and Ashanti Barrino a sophomore forward with 5 rebounds were able to battle Nesbit under the boards at times.

In the end the Lions earned a 51-39 win over the Lady Patriots propelling them to the championship game with Carmel Christian who seemed to have the strongest team in the girl’s bracket.  What was Indy’s downfall was truly self inflicted as the team shot only 33% from the floor while West Charlotte shot 52% which turned out to be the difference.

Patriots Ashanti Barrino was a powerful force under the boards. (Ron Morris)

This loss is a disappointment for the Lady Patriots and Coach Galvani who were expecting to make it to the championship round.  However, walking away with a 2-1 record in the tournament, and a 3rd place finish winning the consolation game with 8 teams is an accomplishment that will help this team grow and develop.

Meanwhile, Braylyn Milton was selected to the All-Tournament Team averaging 20.3 points per game with excellent statistics along with some outstanding play on the hard court.  She scored 14 points against the Lions with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.  While Ayanna Anderson had 8 points and Sharonda Smith 7 points for the Lady Patriots.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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