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Warriors remain undefeated
Mae Hensley Jr. High School's seventh-grade girls basketball team claimed the top prize at its home tournament.

The Warriors edged crosstown rival Blaker-Kinser 18-16 for the championship on Saturday, Dec. 8.

"It was a very exciting game for everybody," Mae Hensley coach Tracy Bull said. "Either team could have won."

Faith Makau had 11 points for the Warriors, including eight in the third quarter and three in the second. She converted three of four foul shots.

"She's been our leading scorer all year," Bull said.

Teammates Breanna Freitas, Diana Salgado and Haley Fisicaro each tallied two points. Bryce Ford, who totaled 30 points in victories over Creekside and La Loma earlier in the tournament, finished with just one free throw.

Blaker-Kinser led 6-5 at halftime, including 4-1 at the end of the first quarter.

"We never trailed all year," Bull said. "It was a new experience for the girls. Blaker-Kinser did a great job of slowing the game down and taking Bryce away, which I didn't think was possible. They played great defense. They packed the middle and forced us to shoot from the outside. We missed 30 shots. It was like there was cellophane on the basket."

Mae Hensley outscored Blaker-Kinser 12-4 in the opening eight minutes of the second half to take a 17-10 lead.

"We could never get comfortable except for the third quarter," Bull said. "That was the difference in the game. Our defense was phenomenal. We did a great job rebounding. We didn't think it would be easy because we played them before."

The Warriors built a 18-4 lead in the opening half and held on for a 24-20 victory against the Sharks on Nov. 19 at Mae Hensley Jr. High School.

The Warriors made 8 of 13 free throws during the second meeting.

Fisicaro's foul shot put Mae Hensley ahead by two points with less than 30 seconds to play.

The Warriors survived as the Sharks failed to get a shot off on their final possession.

"We were fortunate to win again and stay unbeaten," Bull said.

Mae Hensley (14-0) compiled a 3-0 record at its home tournament, beating Blaker-Kinser in the finals, La Loma 48-20 in the second round and Creekside 35-14 in the first round.