The flu was circulating around the Grandview Prep girls basketball team, but no one could step up and have a Michael Jordan-like “flu game.”
The defending state champion Pride looked run down in the second half and limped to a 72-49 loss to Kissimmee-City of Life Christian in the Class 2A state semifinals at the RP Funding Center on Monday.
“We just couldn’t get going,” Grandview coach Ian Clarke said. “Our girls were sore; their lungs just weren’t there for us today. But that’s not the excuse. We lost to a very good team out there today.”
Where Jordan, suffering from flu-like symptoms, scored 38 points to lead the Chicago Bulls over the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, Grandview struggled. The Pride kept City of Life in check in the first half, keeping the game relatively close. The two teams went to the locker room at halftime with Grandview only trailing by eight.
The third quarter was where the Warriors put the game away, scoring 28 points in the quarter. Fifteen of those points came on three-pointers. The Warriors made 10 threes in the game, hitting 48 percent of their shots from behind the arc.
“We weren’t expecting them to make those kind of shots,” Clarke said. “We expected one girl, but it seemed like there was a barrage of threes that just kept coming from people we didn’t expect.”
When the third quarter ended, the Warriors’ lead was up to 27 — effectively insurmountable in an eight-minute quarter.
“I was not expecting that,” City of Life coach Dewrie Buggs said.
City of Life junior Debra Buggs led the barrage, scoring 27 points. Freshman Omega Payton added 15 and sophomore Asia Harvey had 13 as the Warriors upped their record to 20-5.
Harvey led the Warriors’ domination on the glass, bringing in a game-high 16 rebounds. City of Life racked up 40 rebounds in the game, while Grandview managed only 23.
For the Pride, who finished the season 19-7, senior Tayler Wright led the way with 17 points, and seniors Scarlett Anosier and Alexis Romer had 12 each.
Those seniors, along with Metthaina Pauyo, graduate from a program after four trips to the state playoffs and the 2017 state championship.
“It’s just an honor to make it to this spot, on this stage, and be able to play on a stage like this,” Romer said. “It’s really something special, and I’ve really taken the time to reflect on how much I’ve enjoyed being part of this team and having the opportunity to come back four times.”