Whenever Georgia got within striking distance of Tennessee, Jenna Adams struck back.
The former McMinn Central standout scored the bulk of her 20 points in crucial moments Tuesday at Notre Dame and sparked her team to a 63-49 victory in the ninth Tennessee-Georgia high school all-star girls’ basketball game.
Coosa’s Mel McClain freed herself on the right wing with a pump fake and made a 3-point shot 56 seconds into the game. After a basket from behind the arc by Adams and a layup by Walker Valley’s Jordan Nueharth at the 6:50 mark, it proved to be Georgia’s only lead.
Tennessee, which now leads the series 5-4, built its lead as high as 29-13 late in the first half.
Georgia got the deficit down to 38-32 when McClain made a turnaround jumper at 3:33 of the third quarter. But Adams answered with a 3-pointer, 3 of 4 free throws and a length-of-the-floor drive, and the advantage went back to 14.
Again Georgia rallied and was within 49-44 with five minutes to play. After Arts & Sciences’ Robyn Anthony made two free throws with 4:31 remaining, Adams scored the next seven points in what was eventually a game-clinching 14-0 run.
“It’s great when you have a player like that who can take it over,” said Signal Mountain’s Jason Hill, coach of the Tennessee All-Stars. “We didn’t even have to tell her. She knew what she had to do.”\
Hill said going into the game the plan was to feel things out the first half of the first quarter and go from there.
“We got all 10 girls we requested,” Hill said. “We had a great mix of inside and outside.”
Adams, the overall MVP, led Tennessee with 20 points and nine rebounds. Anthony and Cleveland’s Ciera Anderson, Tennessee’s player of the game, added 10 points each.
McClain, who won the 3-point shooting contest at halftime, made a series-record five 3-pointers and was Georgia’s player of the game with 21 points. Armuchee’s Sarah Barnett had 12 points, and Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe’s Jacqueline Shaddeck chipped in with 10.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.