The East scored first in overtime, but the West answered with an 11-0 run for the win.
CHICAGO — A McDonald’s All American Game went to overtime for the first time in the game’s history — boys or girls — with the West girls pulling out a 97-88 victory at the United Center on Wednesday night.
Sabrina Ionescu had eight points in overtime and finished with a McDonald’s girls record 25 — including seven three-pointers –to win Most Valuable Player. The lone uncommitted girls player on either team, the Miramonte (Olinda, Calif.) guard added 10 rebounds and three assists. She also was awarded the Jack Daly Sportsmanship Award at halftime.
“You never really want to get in the position where you have to go into overtime, but you just play overtime like the beginning of every game, with a lot of intensity. Our team wanted to win, and we did,” Ionescu said.
That intensity was clear as the West came back to tie the game 86-86 with just less than a minute left on a three-pointer from Lauren Cox. After forcing a turnover, the West had a chance to win but Destiny Slocum’s jumper missed.
Ionescu, ranked as the No. 4 player in the Class of 2016 by ESPNw HoopGurlz, is heading to the Pac-12, but has yet to decide among Cal, Oregon and Oregon State.
“If they haven’t seen it in me until this point, then they don’t deserve to have me,” Ionescu said.
“If she didn’t have the skills she has, they should still want her,” added West coach Jesse Nelson. “She’s very a positive type person and a great leader. Had she not lit it up tonight, she’d still be a pretty popular player.”
Her 25 points broke the previous scoring record of 23 set by Elizabeth Williams (Princess Anne; Virginia Beach, Va.) for the East in 2011. Williams, who went on to become a four-time All-American at Duke, scored her points in 19 minutes.
Ionescu wasn’t the only player with a hot hand. Amber Ramirez (Wagner, San Antonio) capped off an impressive week with 21 points, including five three-pointers, for the East. She had 14 points at halftime. As time expired in the third quarter, Ramirez hit a three-pointer and yelled to her teammates, evoking images of Steph Curry.
“I was telling them we need to step it up in the fourth, because yesterday in the scrimmage, they did what they did today,” Ramirez said. “They came out with more energy. I thought me hitting that shot would give us some energy going into the fourth. I thought it did, but that overtime got us.”
Ramirez won the three-point contest Monday as part of JamFest, and hit a key halfcourt shot to win the Legends and Stars competition with Jayson Tatum from Chaminade (St. Louis) and recently retired WNBA player Candice Wiggins.
Jackie Young had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
UConn-bound Crystal Dangerfield showed off why she is the best point guard in the nation. The star from Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) not only had six assists, she dished them out with style, including an alley-oop-esque play to Erin Boley (Elizabethtown, Ky.) in the first half and a sweet behind-the-back pass near the end of the fourth quarter.
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