Tennessee rallies past Georgia girls in all-star game

Tennessee rallies past Georgia girls in all-star game

June 12th, 2013 by Lindsey Young in Sports - Preps

TENNESSEE GIRLS 66, GEORGIA 57

Georgia - 15 - 21 - 12 - 9 -- 57

Tennessee - 14 - 14 - 23 - 15 -- 66

Georgia (57) -- Curtis 2, Thomas 7, Woodfin 6, Suttles 2, Blackwell 7, Hunter 2, Parris, Wade 7, Megan Collins 24.

Tennessee (66) -- Caudle 5, Withrow 3, Young 4, Hayley Morrow 12, Towery 4, LeQuire 2, Williams, Mariah Massengill 12, Sydnie Anderson 10, Brianna Farris 10.

3-point goals: Georgia 4 (Collins 2, Thomas, Blackwell); Tennessee 9 (Morrow 4, Farris 2, Massengill, Anderson, Withrow, Caudle). Other highlights: Massengill 7 a, 4 s (Tenn. player of game); Collins 15 r, 3 b (Ga. player of game).

It's seldom a star basketball player will go to an all-star game with the intention of not scoring, but that's just what Mariah Massengill did Tuesday night.

The recently graduated Silverdale Baptist Academy all-star guard dominated the fourth quarter as the Tennessee squad rallied for a 66-57 win in the "Stump On Sports" Tennessee-Georgia girls' game at Notre Dame. She was the player of the game for the victors.

The Eastern Kentucky University signee, while dishing out seven assists and getting four steals, had no choice but to deviate from her game plan. She scored six of her 12 points in the final period as the Tennessee stars broke open a close game.

"We pushed the ball better and we shot it better," said Massengill, whose team trailed 36-28 at halftime. "We tried our best to push the ball, and I did my best to pass the ball. I don't try to play for me; I try to get everybody else involved. I came here with the intention of getting this award, and I achieved it."

The Georgia stars rode the hot hand of Southeast Whitfield's Megan Collins to the halftime advantage. Collins had 19 of her series record-tying 24 points in the opening half and led all players with 15 rebounds and was the Georgia player of the game.

The Georgians used a 26-9 board advantage in the first half to help build their lead.

"I was hoping we could keep that kind of play up, but I guess they just wore us down," said Collins, a three-sport star at Southeast who likely played her final basketball game Tuesday. "We lost focus in the second half and they got on a run. We tried to fight back, but we just didn't have it. It's a nice way to go out, I guess."

McMinn Central's Hayley Morrow helped get things going in the second half with two 3-pointers to key a 11-2 Tennessee run. East Hamilton's Jessica Caudle hit a 3-pointer -- one of nine for Tennessee -- and followed with a layup from a steal to give her team a 46-41 lead. The Georgia squad scored seven straight to pull back in front, but Cleveland's Sydnie Anderson had a three-point play as Tennessee led 51-48 to start the final period.

Massengill then took over, scoring four straight points and assisting on three other baskets. Her layup off a Caudle steal gave Tennessee a 61-53 lead with three minutes left, and the gassed Georgia team could not catch up.

"We came out in the second half and moved the ball better," said winning coach Wes Moore from Notre Dame. "We wanted to get out and run to maybe wear them down, and it looked like it worked. Mariah really did a good job of getting her teammates involved, and she was a key part of the comeback."

GPS star Brianna Farris, who won the 3-point contest at halftime, led the winners in scoring with 14 points, with Morrow adding 12 and Anderson 10.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6296.