Red Level girls fall to Monroe County in tournament championship

Published 10:15 am Thursday, December 28, 2023

Red Level battled back and got within five points but could not overcome a strong showing from Monroe County and fell, 63-35, in the Red Level Christmas Tournament girls’ championship on Wednesday, Dec. 27.

Red Level’s Alyssa Lee looks for an open teammate against two Monroe County defenders.

Monroe County opened up a 4-0 lead before Alyssa Lee made a layup and cut the deficit to 4-2. Taniya Boykins capped a six-point visiting stretch and pushed the lead to 10-2 with 4:44 to go in the opening period. Mariah Crowell went four-of-six at the line, while Ke’Mariah Crittenden and Miracle Wright found the hoop for two. Red Level trailed 22-10 after the first.

The host Lady Tigers came up with a big defensive stand in the second and only allowed seven points. Boykins had a three and finished the frame with five points as Ryleigh Byrd managed the other two. Crowell knocked down a three, and Wright added another bucket. Crittenden collected four free throws, and Elizabeth Carroll also converted a foul shot. The visiting Lady Tigers clung to a 29-21 lead at halftime.

Crowell swished an early three in the opening moments of the third and brought the score to 29-24. Monroe County then started to pull away with baskets from Jermani Manuel, Tylajah McMillian, and Boykins. McMillian led the charge with six in the frame and was followed by Boykins and Manuel who each had five points. Red Level received another field goal from Wright and free throw by Lee but trailed 49-29 after three.

Miracle Wright works her way to the hoop for two of her 10 points.

The opposition continued its surge into the fourth with five different players scoring. Byrd and McMillian both had four points in the final period as Taliyah Richardson and Destini Dubose also got in the scoring column. Wright accounted for two of the home side’s six points, and Zoey Phillips made a jumper with less than a minute remaining.

Crowell led Red Level (3-4) with 13 points, while Wright also earned double digits at 10. Crittenden collected six in the loss.

Boykins paced Monroe County (9-1) with 20 points in the win. McMillian earned 14 points and was followed by Manuel at 13 and Byrd at 10.

Mariah Crowell goes up for a bucket in Red Level’s girls’ tournament championship game against Monroe County.

The All-Tournament team is as follows:

  • Mariah Crowell (Red Level)
  • Miracle Wright (Red Level)
  • Tylajah McMillian (Monroe County)
  • Riley Byrd (Monroe County)
  • Taniya Boykin – Tournament MVP (Monroe County)
  • Brantley Edberg (Samson)
  • Holly Warren (Samson)

Monroe County defeated Samson, 55-38, in the first girls’ tournament game on Tuesday, Dec. 26. Red Level will return from the Christmas break and begin area play on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at Georgiana.