Adams leads Como Park to first-ever Twin Cities title

PrepScenesquare1St. Paul Como Park point guard Andrayah Adams showed everyone why she was one of the state’s top girls’ basketball players as she led the Cougars to a 70-65 overtime victory over Minneapolis Washburn in the Twin City championship game last Saturday.

With University of Minnesota Women’s Basketball Coach Marlene Stallings and assistants Nikita Lowry Dawkins and Fred Chmiel in attendance, the 5’-8” junior scored 25 points (the coaches left before overtime to prepare for their road trip game at Iowa on Sunday), then added nine in overtime to finish with 34, giving Como Park — who also got 21 from sharpshooter freshman guard Mikayla VanNett — its first TC title in school history.

First half

Como Park jumped out to a 7-0 lead thanks to VanNett’s three-pointer to open the game and a basket and two freethrows by Adams.

Lucia Renikoff answered with back-to-back threes to make it 7-6.

From that point on, a see-saw affair ensued with Como Park (who got scoring from Zinash Gjerdrum, Monique Baker, VanNett and Adams) leading Washburn (led by Renikoff, Emma Shepherd, Jazinae Patterson and Shai’Anye Wesley) 28-25 at halftime.

Second half

Andrayah Adams scored six of her team’s nine points (Raiyane Adams scored the other three) as Como Park led Washburn (who got scoring from Hannah Heinemann, Wesley, Shepherd and Renikoff) 37-32 with 14 minutes remaining.

The teams exchanged baskets the next 10 minutes with Andrayah Adams, Kaitlyn Jones, VanNett and Baker contributing for Como Park, and Kenda Zellner-Smith, Olivia Downing, and Renikoff accounting for Washburn’s point total, giving them a 50-49 lead with four minutes left.

Shepherd’s freethrow and basket, along with a short jumper by Renikoff, put the Minneapolis City Conference champs up 55-51 (Baker scored a basket for Como Park) at the 1:48 mark.

The St. Paul City Conference champs scored six unanswered points (thanks to the scoring of Parker and Andrayah Adams) to take a 57-55 lead with 18 seconds left.

Shepherd calmly buried a jumper from the corner to tie the game with 12 seconds remaining.

A Como Park turnover gave Washburn a chance with three seconds left, but a missed shot sent the game into overtime.

Overtime

A freethrow by Autumn Tucker put Como Park up 68-62 (Shepherd, Patterson, Wesley, and Downing scored Washburn’s seven points) with 1:13 remaining.

Shepherd buried a jumper to make it 68-65 at the 33 second mark.

Andrayah Adams sealed the victory, scoring on a coast-to-coast layup as time expired.

Como Park shared the St. Paul City Conference with Central. It was also their first title in school history.

Washburn, led by Renikoff (20 points) and Shepherd (19), was making its third consecutive appearance.

Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to mmcdonald@spokesman-recorder.com.