Jordan Classic Girls: Taja Cole's one errant pass doesn't overshadow stellar effort

Jordan Classic Girls: Taja Cole's one errant pass doesn't overshadow stellar effort

Jordan Brand Classic

Jordan Classic Girls: Taja Cole's one errant pass doesn't overshadow stellar effort

By

Taja Cole, left of Bird (Richmond) guards fellow Louisville signee Asia Durr in Friday's girls game at the Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y.  USA Today Sports photo by Andy Marlin

Taja Cole, left of Bird (Richmond) guards fellow Louisville signee Asia Durr in Friday’s girls game at the Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Photo: Andy Marlin, USA TODAY Sports)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Taja Cole of Bird (Richmond, Va.) had a great game for the West squad in Friday’s girls game at the Jordan Brand Classic, leading her team with 26 points, but she couldn’t shake one bad play.

After the East’s Stephanie Watts nailed a three-pointer in the final seconds of the game, Cole aimed a near full-court pass but it came way short of the mark. Napheesa Collier stole the pass and dished to Watts, who hit another three-pointer for a 76-75 win.

“Ah, yes, it was a miscommunication,” Cole said. “It was a bad pass, but I will say we played together as a team. We came here to compete and have fun. I had told one of my teammates to go long, because it looked open at first. It was a bad decision.”

RELATED: Two treys list East past West in Jordan Classic girls game

Cole was the East team’s Most Valuable Player.She played at a high rate of speed, making 10 of 13 field goals, including four of five three-pointers, and handing out three assists. She also played well in the McDonald’s All American Game, scoring 13 points.

“When you’re a senior and you find out you have two games left, you turn it up and you want to give it your all,” Cole said. “They treat you like a superstar here with security, buses and big arenas. It was pretty cool.”

Cole was one of three Louisville signees in the game. The East squad had Asia Durr of St. Pius X (Atlanta) and Brianna Jones of North Babylon, N.Y. As the No. 29-ranked player in the 2015 class, according to ESPN, she’s the least known of the three, though maybe not for long.

“Every game, I play with a chip on my shoulder,” she said. “I’m not ranked very high and I keep that in mind. I just try to make myself known every time I step on the court, because it’s obvious nobody knows my name.”

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports