Round One To Boo

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- There is an outside chance that come Nike Nationals in Augusta, S.C., at the end of July, the Tennessee Flight and Boo Williams Elite will run into each other. After Sunday, the Flight probably hopes so.

What was supposed to be a matchup of the two best players from the class of 2011 became a one-sided show Sunday afternoon, as Elizabeth Williams and her Boo teammates cruised to a 46-36 win over the Flight in the championship game of the 25th annual Boo Williams Invitational. Williams, the top-ranked junior by ESPN HoopGurlz, scored 20 points in the game, leading her team to the trophy.

"Tennessee Flight and Boo Williams, there's such a big rivalry so it's nice to get a win early," Williams said.

It's possible that Sunday was the only time fans and coaches will see Williams and Mosqueda-Lewis, the No. 2 player in the 2011 class, go head-to-head before college. The two are expected to be key members of the U17 USA National Team that will travel to France this summer for the FIBA World Championships July 16-25. Because of likely national team commitments, Mosqueda-Lewis and Williams will probably not play much in the summer circuit.

That meant Sunday was the day to watch the two square off. After a hot-shooting semifinal game in which Mosqueda-Lewis scored 38 points -- including seven 3-pointers -- the guard from Anaheim, Calif., went cold during the final, scoring just three points. She was hounded all game by Boo guard Ka'lia Johnson, who did everything she could to make sure Mosqueda-Lewis didn't score.

"When Boo gave me the assignment of Kaleena, I was telling my parents, she reminds me of [Detroit Pistons guard] Richard Hamilton -- she runs around, she's always set [to shoot]," said Johnson, a Duke commit.

"I knew coming in she could shoot so I had to keep a hand on her. That three she got, I was mad at myself because she was supposed to score none. It was all good though."

Mosqueda-Lewis felt Johnson's presence -- literally, because Johnson usually had a hand on Mosqueda-Lewis -- everywhere she went.

"It was difficult to have her face guard me," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "I got shots up but they just didn't go in."

Meanwhile, Williams, of Virginia Beach, Va., shined on the low block for Boo, scoring with a variety of post moves and putbacks. She was a force inside the entire tournament for the host team, and was rewarded at the end by being named MVP of the three-day event. Williams waved away the individual praise, but her teammates know her value.

"I feel so comfortable with Elizabeth being my post player," Johnson said. "I want to give her the ball because she can do damage. She's a great person to build around."

The Flight stayed in the game early because of the play of forward Isabelle Harrison, who scored off a steal and then inside against Williams to give Tennessee an early lead.

But after that it was all Boo, as the home team got contributions from everyone. The Flight struggled from the field, coming up short on almost every shot outside 12 feet. Ariel Massengale, the Flight's point guard and ESPN HoopGurlz No. 3 player in the 2011 class, attributed it to a lot of games in a short amount of time.

"It's been a long weekend, legs are tired and we just couldn't get shots to fall today," Massengale said. "But from Friday, I think we can say we came a long way."

If they make the USA U17 team, Massengale, Mosqueda-Lewis and Williams all plan to make the 16-hour flight from Toulouse, France, to Augusta on July 28 to join their teams for the Nike Nationals. And should they meet again, Massengale believes the Flight will know what to expect.

"When it's time for Nike Nationals, where it really counts," she said, "we'll be ready."

And hopefully for spectators, Mosqueda-Lewis and Williams will be ready for one final battle against each other in high school uniforms.

All-Tournament Selections as announced by the Boo Williams Invitational staff:

Most Valuable Player: Elizabeth Williams, Boo Williams Summer League

All Tournament Selections:
Ka'lia Johnson, Boo Williams Summer League
Cierra Burdick, Boo Williams Summer League
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Tennessee Flight Silver
Ariel Massengale, Tennessee Flight Silver
Alyson Beebe, Cal Storm Team Taurasi
Alexis Prince, Essence Purple
Breanna Stewart, Philly Belles Nike Elite
Jordan Adams, West Coast Premier Black
Rachel Banham, North Tartan 16
Amber Orrange, DFW Washington

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Lindsay Schnell is a staff writer for HoopGurlz.com. A graduate of Oregon State University, she has been involved in the Oregon girls' basketball community for most her life as a player, high school coach, writer and fan. She also has been regular contributor to The Oregonian and won several awards for her writing. She can be reached at lindsay@hoopgurlz.com.