KEZAR PAVILION — The normally unforgiving rims at Kezar Pavilion were no problem for an extremely youthful Lick-Wilmerding girls’ team, as the Tigers closed the first quarter on a 17-0 run and led the entire rest of the way to win the BCL West Tournament and avenge their lone league loss with a 60-50 win over Urban on Saturday.
The Tigers (22-5) had split two regular season meetings with the Blues, but 20 points from freshman Annabel Schneiberg and a huge second quarter from sophomore Ava Grey led Lick-Wilmerding to the league tournament title for a second straight year.
Grey found herself open in the corner throughout the second quarter and hit a trio of 3-pointers over those eight minutes, helping her team stretch the lead to as wide as 16.
“I know that every shot I take, it’s going in if I have the right mindset,” she said. “The more I make, the more I want to shoot.”
The combination of Grey and Schneiberg lighting it up from the outside opened up the middle for the Tigers’ post players, and when shots stopped falling in the second half, it was their presence in the middle that allowed them to hang on.
“Our exterior offense has always been there,” said head coach Daniel Tesfai. “I think this tournament showed that our inside games can show up, too. With a couple touches here and there, they build some confidence, and they get the easiest looks because everyone’s so focused on the guards.”
Urban (16-10) cut the lead to 54-48 with 1:46 left on a Samantha Wong and-1, but Schneiberg found Daisy Maunupau in the paint on the next possession to push the lead back to six. Late free throws by Schneiberg and another freshman, Dominique Cabading, put the game away.
With five freshmen on the roster, Grey has stepped into a leadership role and played a major part in helping the freshmen get comfortable.
“A couple of them play on my Olympic Club team, and I took this opportunity to bridge the gap between seniors and the freshmen,” she said.
Samantha Foong, one of two seniors on the roster, scored 13 and Maunupau, a sophomore, finished with 10.
The Blues know a thing or two about youth as well, as they have no seniors on their roster. They got 16 points from Maia Pedrosa and 14 from Rain Sheh.