PSA Prep Black 65, 1-on-1 Academy 62
MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Molly Moffitt had 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals, and made three-of-four foul shots in the final 20 seconds, helping PSA to a win in its opening-round game at Nationals.
Ines Goryanova had 13 points and Janeya Grant 11 for the Mustangs, who will play at 10:30 am Saturday in their second-round game. A win there would put them into the semifinals later in the day.
“I think it’s always hard, the first game,” Moffitt said. “Now we know what it’s like to play on this big stage and in front of a lot of people. We’ve got this one under our belt, now we’re ready to go.”
PSA (11-5) got a huge lift from Paris Kirk, who scored all 10 of her points in the first half, and Genevive Wedemeyer, who had five points, six rebounds, and played terrific defense, particularly in the second half. Both players had been, in the words of coach Devin Hill, “buried on the bench not that long ago.
“I’ve been telling Paris for a month, ‘You don’t know who it’s going to be, or when.’ I know they think it’s coach-speak, but it’s true. You don’t know. This is single-elimination now that we’re in. You have to do something with your minutes. And they do it collectively, they find a way.” Said Kirk: “I’ve changed my mindset to just put less pressure on myself, and I think that’s helped my game a lot. I’m not overthinking everything, I’m just relying on the hours of work I’ve put in.”
The Mustangs were down seven roughly midway through the first half, then closed on a 22-6 run to take a 39-34 lead at the break. Kirk started the run with a 3-pointer and an offensive rebound putback.
The second half was back-and-forth, which has not been good news for PSA this season. They had leads in the second half of all five of their losses, but those days appear to be behind them now after this, their sixth straight win.
The game was tied at 54 when Aniya Perry and Moffitt hit back-to-back 3’s for a six-point advantage, but 1-on-1 stormed right back to even it at 60-60 with four minutes to play. Moffitt then scored five straight points, the last coming on a free throw with 18.6 seconds left, as 1-on-1 went cold. A questionable call went against PSA in the final seconds, giving 1-on-1 a chance to tie it at the buzzer, but the contested 3-pointer was no good, and the Mustangs moved on. “It’s great to get the first one,” Hill said. “Great. Now they understand the level we have to play at, the intensity we have to play with. It’s all I’ve been thinking about, honestly, was let’s get the first one. “From here on, the opponents may get tougher but at least we know what to expect.”