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Lady Eagles rally for win
Chloe Wanamaker 1.jpg
Chloe Wanamaker is able to get by three Centertown defenders for a late layup. Wanamaker helped Morrison rally to defeat the Lady Warriors in the Division 2 preseason championship game.
Jayla Garibaldi 1.jpg
Jayla Garibaldi scored a game-high 11 points, including five straight to start the fourth quarter, to lead Morrison to a Division 2 tournament title Thursday at Eastside.

Jayla Garibaldi found her groove at just the right moment in Thursday’s Division 2 girls preseason championship game.

Garibaldi went on a personal 5-0 run to start the fourth, helping Morrison pull away from Centertown and win 27-23. Garibaldi, who scored a game-high 12 points, was named MVP after leading the Lady Eagles to the title.

Centertown had led from the opening minute, even building an eight-point lead at one point in the third quarter. The Lady Warriors mixed a stifling defense with Allie Melton’s shooting to get on top, but Morrison wouldn’t go away.

Melton hit two 3-pointers in the first half to give her team a 14-9 lead at the break. Kealsey Simpson added a layup to start the second half, while two freebies from Trinity Reynolds gave her team its biggest lead at 18-10.

The Lady Eagles started chipping away though, sparked by back-to-back jumpers from Harmoni Kennerly late in the third quarter. Her second swished in from the right baseline late in the period, capping an 8-0 run and tying the game at 18 entering the fourth.

Morrison took its first lead with 5:15 left when Garibaldi split a pair of free throws. Seconds later, she stepped in front of a pass and was able to race for a layup. 

Down three, Centertown took a timeout, but Garibaldi wasn’t done yet.

Right out of the timeout, Garibaldi sprung free again, splitting defenders for a layup with 4:47 to go to make it 23-18.

Chloe Wanamaker made it a seven-point lead when she swiped a pass and out-ran three Lady Warriors for a layup.

Simpson snapped the streak with a putback, then she and Melton each split a pair of free throws to cut Morrison’s lead to 25-22.

Wanamaker came up with the backbreaker late, finishing a possession where Morrison pulled down three offensive rebounds with a layup with 1:13 to play. It was part of a five-point night for the all-tournament selection.

Kennerly and Sasha Alvarez added four points in the victory, helping each earn all-tournament nods. Imari Stacey scored two.

Melton’s 10 points weren’t enough for the win, but the Centertown guard was named to the all-tournament team following the game. Simpson, who scored nine points, earned recognition as well.

Shelby Miller and Reynolds each finished with two points.