In a rematch of the 2011 Boston City League Championship, O'Bryant (12-2, 12-0 Boston South) will look to defend their title over Fenway (14-3, 13-0 Boston North) in the Girl's Final at 5 p.m. EDT at Madison Park High School.
In last year's final, O'Bryant held on for a 60-53 victory against Fenway, despite a late flourish by Fenway that had them within three with a minute to play. Senior Pierline Durand finished with 10 points and earned the MVP for the Tigers, but the squad brings plenty of talent back to the title game with seven underclassmen returning from last season. Sophomore point guard Tajanay Veiga led the Panthers with a game-high 17 points, including five in the final minute, but couldn't lead her to all the way back.
The two teams took very different paths in Wednesday's semifinals to advance easily back to the title game.
Despite trailing by one after the first quarter and holding just a 20-19 halftime lead, Fenway crushed New Mission 53-28. Veiga was the catalyst for Fenway with 12 of her 15 points coming in the second half.
On the other side, O'Bryant jumped out to an 8-0 run and never let host Madison Park get closer than five the rest of the first half. Strong defense helped the defending champions in the second half, as they held Madison Park to two fourth quarter points. O'Bryant was led by sophomore Raven Kelsey (14 points) and talented freshmen guard Araion Bradshaw (11 points).
The two teams boast very different makeups, as Fenway relies on a three-headed trio, while O'Bryant relies on the their team depth and everyone fitting into their role. The Panthers are led by Veiga (22 points and eight assists), talented freshmen center Jalissa Ross and Kayla Cox. On the other side, O'Bryant doesn't have any star players, but the Tigers have been extremely successful (six straight wins) because of their league-leading defense that allows just 26.4 points per game.
The point guard matchup might be the deciding factor in this game as Veiga (Fenway) and Bradshaw (O'Bryant) are likely to be the most talented players on the floor for their teams. Last season the two guards guarded each other for the entire game and both made a huge impact on the floor.