NEW YORK — Jazmine Massengill scored her team’s final four points to lead the Home squad to an 89-88 win in the girls game Sunday at the Jordan Brand Classic.
Massengill, a guard from Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and her Home teammate from HHCA, Elizabeth Balogun, came up short last week in the GEICO High School Nationals, but they combined for 18 points to help their team win here.
“I’m glad the last high school game we played together came out with the W,” Massengill said. “We were split up at McDonald’s.”
The Home team went up by 22 in the first half but trailed by 15 at one point in the second half.
“We tried to play by ourselves and didn’t play as a team that much,” Massengill said. “When they came back, we fell apart for a bit but we told ourselves to play as a team, like we did when we were up by 22 points.”
The Away squad was led by Shakira Austin, who is good friends with Home guard Honesty Scott-Grayson, her teammate this year at Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro), but she showed Scott-Grayson and her teammates no mercy.
Austin, a Maryland signee, had 18 points and 14 rebounds to earn the Most Valuable Player award for the Away squad. The Away girls trailed by 22 points in the second quarter, but went on a big run fueled by defense to take charge.
“I wanted to come out with the dub, so I went in there and snatched any rebounds that I could,” Austin said. “I tried to make extra plays. We had to turn the switch on and get some stops. My dad always told me to get some rebounds, because my putbacks make me feel more comfortable scoring.”
The Home squad took the lead with 22.5 seconds left at 87-86 on two free throws by Massengill, who has signed with Tennessee. Massengill then followed with a layup to ice the win.
Emily Engstler of St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.), a Syracuse commit, was named the MVP of the Home squad with nine points, four rebounds and three assists. She also got the last laugh on Away coach Bob Mackey of Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) after his team beat St. Francis Prep in the playoffs this year.
“I played for him as a freshman and that’s one of my favorite coaches, but I haven’t beat him for a long time,” Engstler said. “This felt good.”
Rhyne Howard, a guard from Bradley Central (Cleveland, Tenn) who is headed to Kentucky and Scott-Grayson, a Baylor signee, had 13 points, to lead the Home team in scoring.
Balogun, a Georgia Tech signee and Engstler paced the Away squad to a 54-44 lead in the first half with 10 and nine points, respectively.
The Away squad, which trailed by 22 points in the first half before making a second-quarter run, was led in the first half by Izabela Nicoletti, a Florida State signee from Neuse Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), with nine points, all on three-pointers.
Follow Jim Halley on Twitter at: @jimhalley