Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Updated: April 5, 2:54 PM ET
Dicey ending at McDonald's game
By Chris Hansen
CHICAGO -- Things got dicey late in the 2012 McDonald's All-American Girls' Game Wednesday night.
With 16.4 seconds remaining, Washington commit Katie Collier capped a furious West rally to bring the left-coasters to a 78-78 tie.
And for a few seconds it appeared that the unofficial streak of the practice-scrimmage losers winning the big game was going to stretch to four straight years.
But with 0.3 seconds remaining, Collier was whistled for a foul that sent Bashaara Graves, a Tennessee recruit, to the free throw line. Graves made the first to give the East a 79-78 win.
"I was a little surprised they called it," Graves said. "It was pretty questionable."
Graves finished with seven points and 12 rebounds.
Collier had a game-high five blocks for the West, tying her with four others -- Sara Hammond (2011), Amber Henson (2011), Joslyn Tinkle (2009) and Amanda Thompson (2006) -- for third all-time. Alison Bales set the record with nine in the 2003 game.
|Alexis Prince, a Baylor recruit, was named MVP after scoring 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds for the East.|
No state rolled as deep into the 2012 McDonald's All-American game as did Texas. The Lone Star State was represented with four players -- Moriah Jefferson, Alexis Jones, Jordan Jones and Courtney Williams -- and Jefferson and the Joneses have played together during club ball for several years to boot.
"It was great being with all of them, my teammates, it was like a family," said Jefferson, a home-schooled UConn recruit. "Everywhere we go we're four or five deep."
Jefferson would only give herself and her fellow Texans a six or seven out of 10 for their performance, but the bonding and time together was immeasurable.
"We have so much chemistry," Jefferson said. "When we were all in the game at the same time we really jelled more."
Jefferson finished with 10 points and four rebounds; Alexis Jones, a Duke recruit, had nine points, three assists and three steals; Jordan Jones, who is heading to Texas A&M, scored three points and dished out three assists; and Courtney Williams, another Texas A&M recruit, chipped in five points and two assists.
Late to the Party
Jordan Adams was late to the McDonald's festivities this week, but she had a terrific excuse. She was with her Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) teammates winning a state title.
"It was hard to get a rhythm," said Adams, a USC recruit who finished without a point. "I missed some of my shots early and I couldn't get a rhythm, but I got couple of steals and made some nice passes."
She wasn't the only one late because of a championship game. Her Mater Dei teammate, Nirra Fields (UCLA), who finished with a game-high 20 points, was tardy too, as was Jefferson, who was in Missouri playing for a national home-school championship and also missed Sunday's visit to the Ronald McDonald House.
"You don't want to throw up a goose egg out there, but it happens to the best of us," Adams said. "You definitely don't want to go out and be a ball hog, though."
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Chris Hansen is the national director of prospects for ESPN HoopGurlz and covers girls' basketball and women's college basketball prospects nationally for ESPN.com. A graduate of the University of Washington with a communications degree, he has been involved in the women's basketball community since 1998 as a high school and club coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. He is a member of the McDonald's All-American team selection committee. Hansen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.