Audenried holds off Mastery North

by Justin Procope, City of Basketball Love

After a first-half scare, Audenried flipped a switch.

The Rockets fell behind by 15 points in the first half of Wednesday’s Public League semifinal against Mastery North before responding for a 79-54 victory, booking their place in the Saturday’s title game.

Audenried fell behind with poor shot selection and lethargic defense in the first half. The Pumas took advantage, leaking out for easy baskets to race out to a shocking 30-15 lead early in the second quarter.

Then, the Rockets woke up.

The Rockets brought an avalanche in the second half led by sophomore Heaven Reese, who scored the first 11 points of the second half and finished with 20. Smith recorded 17 in the second half to complete a 30-point, 10-rebound performance.

Audenried’s Shayla Smith (left), scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Rockets’ Public League semifinal win over Mastery North.Elizabeth Robertson / Staff Photographer

Audenried rattled off a 34-5 run spanning two quarters to turn a double-digit deficit into a 17-point lead midway through the third, thanks to a suffocating full-court press.

Without the easy buckets they were getting early in the game, the Pumas’ offense slowed to a screeching halt with just 19 second-half points.

This story was produced as part of a partnership between The Inquirer and City of Basketball Love, a nonprofit news organization that covers high school and college basketball in the Philadelphia area while also helping mentor the next generation of sportswriters. This collaboration will help boost coverage of the city’s vibrant amateur basketball scene, from the high school ranks up through the Big 5 and beyond.

Justin Procope, City of Basketball Love